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Posts Tagged ‘Local’

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 But all have been replaced by DTJ.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

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

Yearend dollar demand piles up pressure on local importers

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 10:05 am

Surging demand for the US dollars at yearend pushed the dollar/Vietnam dong exchange rate up to the highest ever of VND21,570 on the unofficial market on December 1st, which will hurt local importers badly.

(Photo: Minh Tri)


The surge usually come at the end of every year, when local businesses buy more shipments to prepare for the Lunar New Year season and foreign firms need to transfer dollars to their home. It’s also the due dates of other businesses, who have to pay US dollar debts.


Many commercial lenders are indirectly selling the greenback at higher rates than the State Bank of Vietnam’s regulated one by charging foreign currency transactions fee and cash counting fee and payment fee, many importers said. 


Local importers have to accept to pay those extra fees as they have no other choice, said Vietnam Young Business Association chairman Vo Quoc Thang.


They need to pay their foreign suppliers in time, so they are willing to buy dollars at high prices, he said. With purchase orders’ prices remaining unchanged, these extra fees generate big losses to the importers.


Do Duy Thai, general director of the steel maker Thep Viet, said commercial banks sell the greenback at the exchange rate of VND21,550 per one US dollar. “Both bank interest rate and the US dollar/Vietnam dong exchange rate are on a rise, leaving local businesses struggling to pay their imported shipments,” Thai said.


A director of a Ho Chi Minh City-based lender, who wanted to be unnamed, said banks bought dollars from exporters, who tried to take profits from the dollar’s surging demand by selling at high prices.


Therefore the lenders will incur losses if they sell dollars at the regulated rate, the director said.


The State Bank of Vietnam earlier announced it would continue to sell dollars to essential-product importers, but commercial banks said the supply didn’t meet the demand.


Dr. Tran Du Lich, member of the National Monetary Policy Consulting Council, recommended that the central bank should name the importers, who are allowed to buy dollars, so they don’t have to purchase at the unofficial market.


This move will also prevent local businesses from importing luxury products, which will widen the trade gap. Lich said. The central bank also has to strictly forbid illegal foreign currency exchanges, which are taking place at the so-called black market, he said.


Nguyen Hoang Minh, deputy director of  the State Bank of Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City branch, noticed speculators pushed the dollar/Vietnam dong exchange rates on the unofficial market up to cash in the rising demand.


Statistics of the branch shows that the amount of US dollar deposits reached VND188.2 billion (US$9 million), rising 12 percent so far this year. The amount of US dollar loans rose 35.4 percent to VND184.880 billion, according to the central bank’s HCMC branch.

Source: SGGP

Yearend dollar demand piles up pressure on local importers

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 10:05 am

Surging demand for the US dollars at yearend pushed the dollar/Vietnam dong exchange rate up to the highest ever of VND21,570 on the unofficial market on December 1st, which will hurt local importers badly.

(Photo: Minh Tri)

The surge usually come at the end of every year, when local businesses buy more shipments to prepare for the Lunar New Year season and foreign firms need to transfer dollars to their home. It’s also the due dates of other businesses, who have to pay US dollar debts.


Many commercial lenders are indirectly selling the greenback at higher rates than the State Bank of Vietnam’s regulated one by charging foreign currency transactions fee and cash counting fee and payment fee, many importers said. 


Local importers have to accept to pay those extra fees as they have no other choice, said Vietnam Young Business Association chairman Vo Quoc Thang.


They need to pay their foreign suppliers in time, so they are willing to buy dollars at high prices, he said. With purchase orders’ prices remaining unchanged, these extra fees generate big losses to the importers.


Do Duy Thai, general director of the steel maker Thep Viet, said commercial banks sell the greenback at the exchange rate of VND21,550 per one US dollar. “Both bank interest rate and the US dollar/Vietnam dong exchange rate are on a rise, leaving local businesses struggling to pay their imported shipments,” Thai said.


A director of a Ho Chi Minh City-based lender, who wanted to be unnamed, said banks bought dollars from exporters, who tried to take profits from the dollar’s surging demand by selling at high prices.


Therefore the lenders will incur losses if they sell dollars at the regulated rate, the director said.


The State Bank of Vietnam earlier announced it would continue to sell dollars to essential-product importers, but commercial banks said the supply didn’t meet the demand.


Dr. Tran Du Lich, member of the National Monetary Policy Consulting Council, recommended that the central bank should name the importers, who are allowed to buy dollars, so they don’t have to purchase at the unofficial market.


This move will also prevent local businesses from importing luxury products, which will widen the trade gap. Lich said. The central bank also has to strictly forbid illegal foreign currency exchanges, which are taking place at the so-called black market, he said.


Nguyen Hoang Minh, deputy director of  the State Bank of Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City branch, noticed speculators pushed the dollar/Vietnam dong exchange rates on the unofficial market up to cash in the rising demand.


Statistics of the branch shows that the amount of US dollar deposits reached VND188.2 billion (US$9 million), rising 12 percent so far this year. The amount of US dollar loans rose 35.4 percent to VND184.880 billion, according to the central bank’s HCMC branch.

Source: SGGP

Local businesses borrow at any costs for booming time at yearend

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 10:05 am

Financial experts said many businesses would be willing to borrow money at the current rates as they need large sources of capital at the end of the year, which is expected to be a booming time of the local retail market.

A cash teller (left, in blue) talks with a client at the Asia Commercial Bank (Photo: Minh Tri)

At some commercial banks, deposit rates reached 15-16 percent per annum last week, while lending rates for businesses and individuals are up to 17-19 percent and more than 19 percent.


Some small and medium enterprises disclosed lenders’ current lend rates remained much lower than unofficial sources’ ones, which can be up to 3-4 percent per month or 48 percent per annum.


High interest rates showed commercial banks’ credit growth last month was a little bit slower than previous months, according to Nguyen Hoang Minh, deputy director of the State Bank of Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City branch.


He expected the banks’ more steady liquidity combining with local firms’ large demand for capital this month will put the growth rate back on track.


However, the central bank’s HCMC branch noticed in a report that interbank rates still reply mainly on the state-owned lenders. Commercial banks and financial firms are often clients of the state-run lenders. The interbank rates therefore will increase rapidly if  the state-owned banks, in some cases, refuse to give loans to commercial lenders, the report said.


The state-owned lenders mostly have to say no to commercial banks or financial firms, whose plans on using capital are risky and unreasonable.


Economists said many lenders’ growth rates nearly reach their annual target, so they will be unwilling to loan more.


The credit growth rate of the Military Bank was 5 percent higher than October’s rate and rose 50 percent so far this year. The lender had to slow down last month’s growth rate as they were afraid it would surge over this year’s target, an officer at the bank said, without providing how much the targeted rate is.


The state bank’s HCMC branch expected credit growth rates this year would rise 25 percent year-on-year to VND699.81 billion (US$35 million), and the deposit would increase 27 percent year-on-year to VND766.25 billion ($38.3 billion).


However, some banks will likely to miss their target. Asia Commercial Bank, known as ACB, said the number of personal loans was small because of the high interest rates. Other commercial lenders said they still accepted personal loan applies, but would offer the loans next year.

Source: SGGP

Growing local market attracts furniture exporters

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:33 am

Furniture makers found the way to foreign markets this year too rough with many obstacles including high interest rates and increasing material prices, so they switch to the local market, which has a growing demand.

An employee designs a chair at a wood factory in Ho Chi Minh City (Photo: loithanh.com.vn)

“Most of furniture exporters borrow money from banks as furniture business requires large sources of capital,” said general director Huynh Quang Thanh of the furniture maker Hiep Long.


Higher interest rates and increasing material prices have raised his firm’s input costs. As a result, he’s considering raising the prices, which weakened local exporters’ competitiveness on the global market, Thanh said.


Despite the central bank’s efforts to curb inflation and stabilize foreign exchange rate, interest rates continued to rise, putting more pressures on local businesses.


Commercial banks are now offering deposit interest rates of 12-13 percent, up from 11 percent earlier this month according to a number of lenders’ websites. Borrowers can now expect to pay 16-18 percent interest on loans.


Thanh added that local furniture makers were also anxious about prices of material for production, which kept rising so far this year. “Rubber wood price jumped sharply to VND5.4 million (US$270) per cubic meter from VND3.4 million per cubic meter as China is strongly buying Vietnam’s raw wood, which has low export taxes,” he said. 


“The Ho Chi Minh City Handicraft and Wood Industry Association asked relevant units to raise the raw wood taxes, but they haven’t replied,” said Ngo Hong Thu, deputy general director of the Truong Thanh Furniture Corporation.


Demand for Vietnam’s furniture in the Euro market is slumping this year because of the economic recession. Thu said Truong Thanh’s sales in Euro declined to 35 percent from 55 percent this year. Many local exporters expect the amount of orders from European customers will drop further in 2011.


Growing local market
“Vietnam’s furniture products hit store sheaves in 120 countries around the world with a turnover of $3 billion per annum. Sales of imported furniture products meanwhile make 80 percent of importers’ revenue,” said Vo Quang Ha, general director of the furniture maker Tan Vinh Cuu.


“Therefore, some furniture makers including us switch our sales to the local market. We earned more than 300 orders at the Vietbuild and Vifa furniture exhibitions at Ho Chi Minh City this year,” Ha said.


Furniture maker 4P director Nguyen Van Luat said his firm rebound to the local market as the furniture demand at offices was increasing sharply this year. “The competitiveness at foreign markets is pretty high now as exporters have to verify wood origins and submit many kinds of certificates,” Luat said.


Duong Quoc Nam, director of Hoang Nam Joint Stock Company, said the firm’s sales from the local market grew 20 percent annually since 2008.

Source: SGGP

German electronic music to charm local music lovers

In Uncategorized on November 6, 2010 at 7:21 am

Local banks assist exporters

In Uncategorized on October 14, 2010 at 6:27 pm

In response to the regulations of the Government and the State Bank of Vietnam on supporting companies, local banks have pledged to provide loans with preferential interest rates to exporters.

Transaction conducted at an Asia Commercial Bank branch in Ho Chi Minh City

Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) will give loans of up to US$150 million at softer rates to exporters to buy materials for making exported goods.
 
To access the loans, companies must have letter of credit (L/C), documents against payment (D/P) or bank payment guarantees.
 
Besides preferential loan interest rates, companies can also enjoy preferences on other services.
 
Companies that import essential goods and materials for production and business are also eligible for the program.
 
Vietnam International Commercial Bank (VIB) has also promised to provide low-interest loans of total VND1.5 trillion (US$79 million) to woodwork exporters.
 
When importing materials for making woodwork, exporters will enjoy flexible deposit rates for opening L/C, and many preferences on other services such as viewing balances, performing banking transactions and opening L/C online through the bank’s Internet Banking service. 

Source: SGGP

Volunteers help local people in overcoming flood aftermath

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2010 at 3:53 am




Volunteers help local people in overcoming flood aftermath


QĐND – Saturday, October 09, 2010, 20:59 (GMT+7)

More than 2,500 groups of volunteers from seven districts and Dong Hoi city in Quang Binh province today went to localities worst hit by the recent historical flood to assist local people to overcome the aftermath.


They helped clean schools and rearrange classroms, now ready for students to resume studying after a week off, and repaired houses of local people so that they could soon stabilize their personal life and production.


Source: TTO


Translated by Mai Huong


Source: QDND

Project helps local people access to broadband Internet

In Uncategorized on July 22, 2010 at 7:17 pm




Project helps local people access to broadband Internet


QĐND – Thursday, July 22, 2010, 21:15 (GMT+7)

Most of the work in a pilot project to raise computer skills and broadband Internet access in public sites in the country has finished, said the project manager, Phan Huu Phong, at a meeting held in Hanoi on July 21 to evaluate the project implementation.


Under the project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, more than 300 local staff and 4,000 ordinary people have been trained how to use computers.


In addition, 235 computers and 33 printers have been installed at post offices and libraries in each pilot province, helping local people access to the broadband Internet, said the manager.


The project, launched in last February in the northern province of Thai Nguyen, central province of Nghe An and southern province of Tra Vinh, has received large contributions from the Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) and the Military Telecoms Corporation (Viettel).


The project is said to be expanded between now and 2015, bringing Internet to remote and isolated areas in the country.


Source: VNA


Source: QDND