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Posts Tagged ‘struggles’

VN-Index struggles to surpass 480

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:27 am

Vietnam’s benchmark VN-Index unexpectedly rebounded, successfully escaped from losing trend on December 30 due to buying demand of foreign investors.

The measure of 275 companies and five mutual funds listed on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange recovered 0.55 percent, or 2.65 points, to finish at 481.4 points.


Among the index members, there were 88 winners, 121 losers, while 71 remained unchanged.


Around 57.06 million shares changed hands at a value of VND1.48 trillion on the city bourse this morning.


Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Bank or Sacombank (STB) won the spot of most active share in volume with 3.28 million shares changing hands.


Saigon Securities Inc. (SSI), the country largest brokerage, chased after with 1.54 million shares.


Refrigeration Electrical Engineering Corporation (REE) followed with 1.38 million shares.


Hamico Group Mineral Joint Stock Company (KSH), which levitated 4.99 percent to VND37,900, led the list of winners on the southern trading floor.


Phuc Tien Trade Manufacture Joint Stock Company (PHT) shot up 4.93 percent to VND14,900.


Hoang Quan Consulting – Trading – Service Real Estate Corporation (HQC) advanced 4.88 percent to VND38,700.


Vimedimex Medi – Pharma Joint Stock Company (VMD) shrank 4.97 percent to VND28,700.


IDICO Infrastructure Development Investment Joint Stock Company (HTI) extended it losing streak to eight consecutive sessions, erasing 4.96 percent to VND13,400.


Bao Minh Insurance Corporation (BMI) contracted 4.94 percent to VND15,400.


The smaller bourse in the north made a contrast move as the Hanoi’s HNX-Index slid 1.64 percent, or 0.29 points, to close at 112.64 points. Trading volume dropped over the previous session, sinking to 40.9 million shares worth VND833.4 billion.


Meanwhile, the UPCom-Index rose 0.08 points to 44.98 points this morning. A total of 140,000 shares changed hands at a value of VND1.69 billion.

Source: SGGP

Foreign-adapted TV struggles to find foothold in Vietnam

In Vietnam Culture on January 15, 2010 at 9:21 am

With the exception of a few standouts, Vietnamese versions of world-famous TV series have struggled with success.

One of the most recently anticipated series, “Ngoi nha hanh phuc” (Full House), a Vietnamese version of the Korean TV series “Full House,” ultimately failed to win over domestic viewers, and it was not an isolated case.








A scene from “Co nang bat dac di” (An unwilling girl), a Vietnamese remake of the Argentinian series “Lalola.” The series was forced to stop after 100 episodes instead of 150 as outlined in an original contract, due to a lack of viewer interest. (Photo: SGGP)

An experienced local scriptwriter says one problem is that Vietnamese producers lack expertise and purchase foreign scripts that are simply not adaptable for domestic audiences.


Vast differences in foreign culture and lifestyle pose a headache for producers trying to rewrite scripts for Vietnamese viewers, often with poor results.

Another reason that foreign-inspired series have failed to take off here, according to the screenwriter, is that local script-editors are often inexperienced and have little time to do a good job of translating and adapting the program.

Others have suggested that the core ability of some Vietnamese directors may be lacking. The skill of the director, especially when it comes to adapted series, can make or break a program.


Most foreign-adapted series that have failed to find success in Vietnam, have been directed by those who are young and inexperienced. 

Local actors and actresses also play a pivotal role in how successful an adapted series is. Most of them fail to truly understand the characters and their situations due to the stark difference in culture and lifestyle. This comes across onscreen in many ways, including overdramatizing by actors.
The longer running time of most foreign series is also an obstacle to both Vietnamese directors and actors.


Most local directors are only familiar with short-running series, and find it difficult to adjust their approach. Many actors are former models and singers, and have only a little acting experience. This is not lost on frustrated viewers who complain that adapted versions are of poor quality and nothing like the originals. 

However, a few foreign-adapted series, including “Co gai xau xi” (Ugly Betty), “Nguoi me nhi” (A Mother’s Soul in a Child’s Body), and “Gia dinh phep thuat” (A Family With Charm) have proved successful in Vietnam.

Co gai xau xi” was based on the Colombian series “Yo soy Betty, la fea” (I am Betty, the Ugly). The popular show was also adapted by several other countries around the world and enjoyed huge success.

Despite stark differences between the original script and the Vietnamese version, the sitcom was well-adapted and attracted a large local audience. The script-editors were credited with successfully maintaining the original characteristics of the show that made it so popular while adding a distinctly Vietnamese flavor.

The triumph of “Co gai xau xi” where others have failed, thus appears to lie in the expertise of the translators, editors and those who re-scripted the original. Doing a good job also requires a considerable amount of time.


Reworking a foreign script can take even longer than writing a new one.
Scriptwriter Thuy Linh, who worked on the translation of “Yo soy Betty, la fea” into Vietnamese, said: “We need almost a year to read and translate the original scripts into Vietnamese.


The work is as difficult as writing a new script. Vietnamese society has several unique characteristics, so we need to change the profiles and lifestyles of some of the characters in accordance with the Vietnamese style.”

As evidenced by the failure of many hastily purchased TV series, Vietnamese producers need to carefully consider which foreign programs will work in Vietnam and which will not. Just because a show is successful in other countries, it is not necessarily a recipe for success locally unless it is compatible with Vietnamese taste.

What the country needs most is more local scriptwriters producing creative, interesting shows designed specifically for domestic audiences. But even though many adapted shows have failed, local script-editors say they have gained valuable experience working with foreign scripts.

Thus, adapting foreign programming should not be abandoned entirely at the moment, but should be carried out in moderation until Vietnamese producers begin turning out more quality shows. 


Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Fat chance: City struggles with childhood obesity

In Vietnam Health on September 17, 2009 at 1:29 pm

Ho Chi Minh City health officials are becoming alarmed by the increasing number of overweight and obese children, especially pupils in elementary schools. The number of such children is expected to continue rising, making childhood obesity one of the country’s future greatest health challenges.

A week ago, Duong Ngoc, resident of District 3, had to take her six-year old boy, weighing nearly 70 kilos, to the center for an examination because the first- grade pupil cannot concentrate on his studies. He often feels tired and sleepy in the class.








A child gets a health check before being given nutrition advice at the HCMC Nutrition Center (Photo: SGGP)

Dr. Tran Quoc Cuong, from the Clinical Nutrition Consultancy of the HCMC Nutrition Center, said that it is just one of so many similar cases as being overweight and obese are now among the most widespread medical problems affecting children in the city.

He pointed out that some 100 children are taken to the center daily concerning obesity. Although they are just between five and six years old, their body weight is between 20 percent and 40 percent heavier than the healthy weight for a child of that height. Particularly, there is a schoolboy who is just nine years old, but weighs as much as 110 kilos.

The problem, said Dr. Cuong, is that not many parents really comprehend the negative effects of obesity to their children’s health. They let their children eat as much as they can because they believe that “gaining weight is a sign indicating that the children are in good health.”

He added that only after taking their kids to the doctor for a health check because they have symptoms of diabetes or heart disease, do the parents realize that their children are suffering from obesity.

The number of overweight and obese children in the city at present makes up a large proportion. Recent surveys, conducted by the HCMC Nutrition Center among 2,500 pupils from two elementary schools in District 10, showed that the number of overweight and obese children accounts for 20.8 percent and 6.8 percent of pupils respectively.

A recent survey conducted by HCMC Children’s Hospital 1 revealed that of 300 overweight and obese children over two years of age, half of them suffer from a fatty liver. They are all hooked on fattening and sweetened foods.

The problem is that the rate of overweight and obese kids is continuing on an upward trend.

Recent studies released by the HCMC Nutrition Center revealed that in 1999, only 2.2 percent of under-five years were overweight, but in 2008, the figure leaped to 10.9 percent.

Dr. Nguyen Thi Minh Kieu, chairwoman of the city’s Nutrition and Food Association, emphasized that the increasing number of overweight and obese children points to a higher proportion of foods rich in fat, sugar and protein, which are present in children’s daily meals.

She pointed out that today’s busy families have fewer free moments to prepare nutritious, home-cooked meals. Fast food, take-away foods and sugary drinks, coupled with the number of hours children are inactive in front of the TV, on computers and playing video games are the main cause of childhood obesity.

Dr. Ngoc Diep, HCMC Nutrition Association, warned that childhood obesity is one of the greatest health challenges for the city’s education and medical sectors, as it affects the children’s spiritual and physical development.

She emphasized that obesity has a profound effect on a child’s life. It not only increases the child’s risk of numerous health problems, but can also create emotional and social problems.

Obese children tend to be slower learners and vulnerable to diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic disorder and cancers.

“We are running the risk of losing control over the increasing number of overweight and obese children, especially if the medical sector fails to raise parents’ awareness of the importance of accustoming their children to good dietary habits and regular exercise,” she warned.

Affective weight management programs should be incorporated in schools and families, suggested she as a measure. 


Source: SGGP

City struggles with illegal nightclubs

In Vietnam Society on September 15, 2009 at 5:13 pm

Inspectors from Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Culture and Society recently swooped into a bar, BB Club, in Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, District 3, after investigating it for sometime and found employees allegedly without labor contracts nor did it have food hygiene certificates.








A nightclub in HCMC (Photo: SGGP)

They also found prescription drugs which the inspectors believe may have been used recreationally.


Over 100 people, dressed scantily, were unable to present identity papers and taken to District 3’s police station to be tested for illegal drugs.


The BB Club was licensed to open as a restaurant, however, it allegedly operated as a nightclub with hundreds of people dancing most nights.


Under the ground floor was another bar, G8. It was earlier named Louis, a bar where tens of people were caught for allegedly taking drugs.


Local authorities had previously asked Louis to close it doors in 2008 after breaking various regulations.


According to an unverified report, HCMC currently has about 40,000 restaurants operating without licenses. Of these, 1,000 bars run undercover of restaurants, which are mainly located in districts 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, Tan Binh, Tan Phu and Binh Tan.


Recently, some bars have broken regulations by remaining open after official closing-time, playing music that is prohibited, nude dancing, heroin and ecstasy drug use and prostitution, among many other violations. 


Sanctions have not been strict enough to ward off such nightclubs


In a 2006 Government decree, 56/NĐ-CP, punishment for administrative violations in culture and information activities, violations like using workers under 18 years old or staff without labor contracts, creating excessive noise, or opening doors past 11pm are to be punished with fines of VND2 million.


Some have questioned the small penalties, especially compared with the large profits earned. As such, such places continue despite being fined regularly.


In 2005, the Government instructed local authorities to control negative activities in bars, restaurants, karaoke bars and nightclubs.


Accordingly, provincial authorities should stop granting licenses for this business type.


People wanting to trade in this field have asked for licenses to establish companies and restaurants with ever more simple procedures. As a result, there are many bars, nightclubs and karaoke bars operating illegally.


Dang Minh Su, deputy head of HCM City’s sub-department for social problems, said that to withdraw licenses of restaurants with illegal bars, authorities have to catch them while they organize prostitution, or sell or allow drugs to be taken on the premises.


However, it is very difficult to uncover as those being investigated are able to hide illegal activities in time.


Moreover, some bar and nightclub owners in the city have good relations with some senior officials. The number of inspectors is also thin and they have to cover a large area, leading to difficulties to clear illegal bars and nightclubs.


Source: SGGP