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Foreign lenders rush to raise registered capital

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:26 am

While local lenders gained a one-year extension for the deadline to raise their registered capital, foreign-owned banks are on a rush to increase the capital in accordance with the Law on Credit Institutions.

A foreigner waits outside an ATM booth in Ho Chi Minh City (Photo:Minh Tri)

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has approved the proposal requiring local lenders to raise registered capital levels to VND3 trillion (US$153.9 million), by Dec. 31, 2011, the State Bank of Vietnam said on its website last week.

Commercial lenders took a breath of relief on the fact that the central bank extending the deadline to raise registered capital by one year to ease pressure on banks having difficulty meeting higher requirements.

Foreign-owned banks, meanwhile, are in a race to either reduce the outstanding credit or add more capital in an attempt to meet the new requirement, experts said.

According to the Law on Credit Institution, foreign banks are not allowed to offer a loan which is worth 15 percent higher than its registered capital.

A Vietnam branch of a foreign bank said in spite of its registered capital of $15 million only, it could support projects worth $50 million thanks to the mother bank’s large capital.

But according to the requirement of raising registered capital levels, they can loan around $1-2 million only.

The State Bank of Vietnam early this week granted permissions to three foreign lenders to raise their capital.

Among those banks are Taiwan-based Hua Nan Commercial Bank increasing its registered capital to $65 million from $15 million, Taiwan-based Chinatrust Commerical Bank raising to $50 million from $15 million and Japan’s Mizuho Corporate Bank to $133.5 million from $15 million.

An official of Korea Exchange Bank said the bank will surely have to raise capital as 60 percent of its clients borrowed more than $4 million for each. 

Financial experts said foreign lenders with high foreign currency liquidity have an edge over local banks. Therefore, asking them to raise capital will prompt to a shortage of foreign currency, the expert warned.

“Borrowers struggling to get foreign currency loans from foreign banks will switch to local lenders, pilling up pressures on the country’s foreign currency supply,” an economist said.

“The National Financial Supervisory Commission proposed the government to set up credit limits for foreign banks, instead of their branches in Vietnam,” said Dr. Le Xuan Nghia, vice chairman of the commission.

Statistics show Vietnam has 71 foreign credit institutions with 48 representative offices. Their total asset this year reaches more than VND420 trillion, increasing 30.8 percent year-on-year and making out of 11.25 percent of the banking system’s total asset.

They mobilized nearly VND364 trillion, a year-on-year increase of 33.8 percent, and loaned more than VND230 trillion in the first ten months of the year. 

Source: SGGP

Report: Over 20% of foreign visitors return to Khanh Hoa for 3rd time

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:16 am

According to a survey from Khanh Hoa Province’s Department of Culture, Sport and Tourism, more than 20 percent of 600 international visitors return to the central coastal province for the third time.

Foreign travelers visit Nha Trang City in Khanh Hoa Province. (Photo: Sggp)

In addition, 23 percent (138 travelers) visit the province for a second time.

Khanh Hoa received over 390,000 foreign visitors last year, presenting an increase of about 30 percent.

The visitors mostly come from the UK, France, Russia, the US, Australia and New Zealand. Seventy-four percent of tourists spend their holidays at the seaside and visiting friends. The other type of visitor is looking for business opportunities.

Every visitor spends about VND8.2 million (over US$400) on accommodation, restaurants and shopping, and entertainment services.

Source: SGGP

Cool real estate market replaces foreign distributors with local ones

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:06 am

High-end real estate segment used to be dominated by foreign-owned firms such as CBRE Vietnam, Savills Vietnam, Coliers, Cushman Wakefield or Knight Frank, who have the upper-hand in design consultancy, management, marketing and sales.

(Photo: Minh Tri)

But those days are gone.

With the market cooling off and investors turning their back to high-end properties, foreign real estate firms over the past year no longer had a good time.

Savills, Knight Frank and CBRE for the past year had to give the chance to distribute the Indochina Plaza Hanoi project to Hanoi-based DTJ Group.

The priority to distribute the project was once associated with Savills Vietnam. Then its competitors such as Knight Frank and CBRE, the famous real estate service provider stepped in. But all have been replaced by DTJ.

Other big projects in Hanoi such as Mulberry Lane or Cana Park have also replaced foreign distributors with local ones.

Vincom Group has also broken up with its long-year foreign partners. The corporation is selling its projects itself, such as it did with the Royal City project recently.

Several developers of high-end real estate projects in Hanoi said they are willing to invite local distributors instead of foreign-labeled ones.

For a long time, hiring a foreign distributor was the optimum choice as the foreign firms made good business and they gave the project a better name.

But according to experts in the field, difficulties of the market have made the matter of fame no longer important.

Meanwhile, foreign distributors asked for higher payment and have failed to renew their sales and marketing measures to fit in the cooling market. They have failed to sell the project on time or make the profit promised to the developers.

These foreign firms have lost a lot of spotlight. Their reports have been more biased and less accurate. Some were even contradictory to each other.

So they were replaced or supplemented with local firms, which have made big improvements over the past time with proven successes in sales, management and marketing.

It showed good signs for Vietnam’s real estate market, insiders said.

Source: SGGP

Hanoi attracts 1.2 million foreign visitors in 2010

In Uncategorized on December 24, 2010 at 4:28 am

Hanoi attracts 1.2 million foreign visitors in 2010

QĐND – Thursday, December 23, 2010, 20:33 (GMT+7)

The number of foreign visitors to Hanoi in 2010 is estimated at 1.2 million, up 18.42 percent against 2009, while the number of domestic tourists to the city is expected to increase by 15.22 percent to 10.6 million.

The figure was given at a revision conference by the Hanoi Municipal Department for Culture, Sports and Tourism on December 23.

In the National Tourism Year, Hanoi has launched various campaigns to improve the quality of tourism products such as the “Hanoians welcoming visitors” and “Green tourism year”. The city also held the Thang Long-Hanoi international tourism and cuisine festivals and a contest for outstanding tourist guides.

However, there remain shortcomings to the city’s tourism sector. Hanoi has not yet taken full advantaged of its potential, especially in cultural tourism and the cooperation between related agencies is still very weak.

To meet the target set for tourism development in 2011, Hanoi should focus more attention on managing tourist activities; promoting advertisement, both domestically and overseas; and improving staff training and tourism inspection, said Truong Minh Tien, Deputy Director of the city’s Department for Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Local retailers overtake foreign chains, experts say

In Uncategorized on December 24, 2010 at 4:28 am

The number of wholly-foreign owned retailers in Vietnam remains limited after the Southeast country opened the distribution and retail market under its World Trade Organization commitments in January 2008.

(Photo:Minh Tri)

Despite weaker financial potential, technology and management skills, local retailers are now still outnumbering foreign chains in supermarket segment, analysts said.

Vietnam’s biggest supermarket chain Saigon Co.op opened 50 supermarket nationwide, an increase of 22 in the last two years. Its revenue growth rate is up to 35-40 percent per year.

Following is Maximark opening five outlets in Ho Chi Minh City and Nha Trang with an average area of 10,000 square meters at least.

“We [local retailers] are now confident that our supermarket system can compete with foreign chains,” said Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, director of the HCMC-based Maximark Cong Hoa.

Analysts said some local retailers teamed up with foreign counterparts, including G7 Trading and Service JSC and Japan’s Ministop.

Local retailers completely overtook foreign players in home appliance segment. Four leading retailers including Saigon Co.op, Hapro, Satra and Phu Thai Group cooperated with in each others to set up Vietnam Distribution Associate Network Development and Investment JSC, marking a milestone in the development of Vietnam’s retail sector.

“Local retailers’ biggest weakness is technological infrastructure, human resource and trading skill. But we have good knowledge of consumer culture, as well as getting the government’s preferential policies,” said Phan The Rue, chairman of the Vietnam Retailers Association.

Though the share of modern retail sales in Vietnam is less than 20 percent now, experts expect it to grow rapidly. Statistics showed 50 percent of households in big cities preferred to shop at traditional markets.

Analysts said traditional retail outlets still have an edge over supermarkets as their distribution network is wider. Some traditional markets including HCMC’s Ben Thanh, Hue’s Dong Ba and Hanoi’s Dong Xuan are popular and located at downtown area.

A food supplier in HCMC said his firm’s sales from tradition markets make out of nearly 50 percent of the monthly figure.

“Vietnam’s retail market remains a combination of traditional markets and shopping centers. However, consumers will be gradually familiar with supermarkets’ convenience and modernity, and then they will switch their shopping habits,” said Richard Leech, executive director of CBRE Vietnam.

Experts said consumers have to deal with many issues when shopping at traditional markets, including fake products and inconvenient shopping environment.
Vietnam’s sales of retail sector are estimated to reach more than VND1.44 trillion (US$72 billion) this year, an increase of 20 percent year-on-year. The U.S.’s market research firm RNCOS expects Vietnam’s retail market will likely to reach US$85 billion in 2012.

The Southeast country fell to the 14th position this year after being ranked at sixth among the 30 best emerging markets for retailers in 2009 by global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney.

Source: SGGP

Vietnam’s tourism promoted in foreign markets

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Vietnam’s tourism promoted in foreign markets

QĐND – Thursday, December 16, 2010, 21:5 (GMT+7)

The Vietnam Administration of Tourism has been organising road-show programs in Singapore and Malaysia to promote Vietnam’s tourism abroad.

Recently, the Vietnam Administration of Tourism has worked out programs to promote Vietnam tourism in two countries, considering them key tourism markets of Vietnam.

The ongoing road show program from December 15th to 21st, has introduced famous tourist sites, new tourist products, cultural identities, plans to further develop Vietnam’s tourism to foreigners. The road-show also creates opportunities for domestic and foreign travel businesses to boost cooperation.

Source: HNM

Translated by Duy Minh

Source: QDND

Two foreign drug makers promise to reduce medicine prices

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 10:02 am

Two pharmaceutical enterprises promised to decrease some medications under the proposal of the Vietnam Drug Administration (VDA).

Cardiovascular drug Vasterel will be decreased 10 percent as  Les Laboratoires Servier  promises to reduce its price

In response to VDA’s appeal to foreign pharmaceutical enterprises in Vietnam for reducing prices of drugs, Ebewe Pharma GmbH Nfg. KG of Austria and Les Laboratoires Servier of France sent a notification to VDA to say they will reduce prices of specific drugs for treatment of cancer, heart diseases, diabetes and antibiotics.

Austria’s pharmaceutical companies said it will decrease 16 medications over 31 for treatment cancer diseases. Its products will have an average decrase from 5 percent to 12 percent.

Meanwhile France said it decreased by 7 percent for drugs for treatment diabetes (Diamicron 80mg) and 10 percent for cardiovascular disease medicines (Vastaren).

In addition, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is considering reducing prices of some drugs with huge turnover and quantity, including antibiotic for adults and kids.

Especially, these companies pledged to keep stable supply of specific drugs in hospital pharmacies.

Source: SGGP

Vietnam Airlines surveys foreign markets

In Uncategorized on November 27, 2010 at 2:51 pm


Vietnam Airlines surveys foreign markets
QĐND – Saturday, November 27, 2010, 21:42 (GMT+7)



The national flag-carrier, Vietnam Airlines, has launched a field-trip to dynamic foreign markets, including South Korea, France, Switzerland, and Germany, in order to promote exchanges and study their experiences.

During the field-trip, from November 11th to 19th, leaders of Vietnam Airlines’ member businesses had worked with representatives from major airlines, businesses and organisations in the aviation industry.

According to members of the delegation, the field-trip and working-visits in the developed countries have helped the domestic aviation businesses improve their knowledge and experiences.

Over the past years, Vietnam Airlines’ members have made many strategic achievements and advancements.

Mr. Bui Doan Ne, Vice-Chairman of the Vietnam Aviation Business Association (VABA), a member of the delegation, said that apart from being equipped with modern technology, many officials, officers and employees of the delegation had opportunities to improve their knowledge through training programs which are launched regularly by major aviation organisations.

Vietnam Airlines has become a competitive trademark in the international market of aviation transportation, but services of the carrier need to improve in terms of service capacity and technology, and the field-trip has contributed to further development of the industry as well as the airline.

Reported by Phan Binh

Translated by Duy Minh

Source: QDND

Flight to Ha Noi from


Foreign ministers of China, Russia consult on N.Korea

In Uncategorized on November 27, 2010 at 1:51 pm

The foreign ministers of Russia and China held telephone consultations Saturday over ways to ease the surging tensions on the Korean peninsula, the Russian foreign ministry said.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi “underscored the need to prevent a further escalation in the situation and to work toward conditions that can ease the tensions in the two Koreas’ relations and resume the six-party talks,” the ministry said in a statement.

Both countries are involved in the six-nation negotiations on the North Korean crisis, although Moscow’s close contacts with Pyongyang have waned considerably since the Soviet era.


Source: SGGP

Tourism eyes foreign shoppers

In Uncategorized on November 20, 2010 at 4:15 pm