Low cost smart phones still live well amid their predicted ill fate

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VietNamNet Bridge - Contrary to all predictions that low cost smart phones would soon disappear from the market because of their low quality, the products still have been selling very well and become more and more favored by customers. VnMedia newspaper, which conducted a mini survey on the mobile phone market, has come to a conclusion that it was not high end smart phones, but the medium class and low cost products which were the best sellers in the market last week. 24h.com has reported that Hanoians now rush to buy VIVO HD, a kind of low cost and multi-functional product distributed by AVAtelecom. VIVO HD is now priced at VND4.2 million, which, in the eyes of consumers, is a very reasonable price, if noting that it can connect TV, allows users to watch TV and play heavy games and to make documents. Low cost smart phones are understood as the products with the retail prices of no more than VND5 million per product. The owner of a mobile phone shop on Thai Ha Street in Hanoi said … [Read more...]

2-SIM smart phones bring fat profits to Vietnamese manufacturers

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VietNamNet Bridge - Vietnamese now tend to use the low-cost smart phones adaptable to 2 simcards and powerful with strong configuration. The strongest card of small manufacturers The mobile phones adaptable to 2 simcards first appeared in Vietnam in 2007. Most of the products were made by unknown manufacturers and imported from China. Later, Vietnamese telecom groups also jumped into the profitable market by launching multi-simcard products. Even the world's big manufacturers like Nokia, Samsung, Phillips, Alcatel and LG have also developed 2-SIM models. 2-SIM phones were understood as low cost products, which are equipped with the basic features. However, the concept has changed a lot over the last 2 years. More and more 2-SIM phones with strong configuration, including Vietnamese brand blockbuster products have been marketed recently. VinaPhone, one of the three biggest mobile network operators, has made its presence in the mobile phone market by launching Avio Sky A850, a … [Read more...]

Locals talk up future

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The global smartphone boom is led by tech giants like Samsung, Apple and Nokia, but Vietnamese firms are starting to make their mark in the low and medium market segments. Increasing numbers of Vietnamese are dialing into the smartphone revolution Photo: Le Toan Many local manufacturers jumped into making handsets but most earned meager revenue figures. The number of Vietnamese brand handsets remains only a handful at present, with the most popular brands being FPT, Q-Mobile and Mobistar. Q-Mobile has captured articular attention from consumers. The brand first appeared in May 2008 by An Binh Telecom Company Limited (ABTEL) and is now ranked third in Vietnam's smartphone market in sale volumes. According to Q-Mobile chief executive officer (CEO) Nguyen Quang Minh, Vietnam's smart-phone market is currently vibrant across all market segments, entailing big challenges to the firm. "But competition is inevitable in the marketplace. With proper strategy, we are confident to … [Read more...]

BUSINESS IN BRIEF 26/3

HOSE to honor sustainability reports The Hochiminh Stock Exchange (HOSE) has announced to present the Sustainability Reporting Awards to listed enterprises with remarkable contributions to environmental and social issues given the framework of the 2013 Annual Report Awards (ARA). Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, the awards will be granted for the first time in this year's competition. The World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Britain-based Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) will be in charge of professional aspects and send judges to evaluate related contents in listed firms' reports. On Tuesday's 2013 ARA launch also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the ARA's organizing committee, IFC and ACCA. Following its success over the past five years, the ARA contest is co-organized by HOSE and Vietnam Investment Review's sister publication Dau tu Chung khoan and sponsored by fund manager Dragon Capital. This … [Read more...]

BUSINESS IN BRIEF 25/3

Seafood industry faces slow export growth Vietnamese seafood producers are facing slow export growth and a shortage in material, after the US Department of Commerce levied higher tariffs on export of frozen pangasius fish fillets, effective from August 1, 2010 to July 31, 2011. Figures by the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors show that export turnover of the country's seafood industry merely touched US$6.2 billion last year, compared to a target of $6.8 billion. With a growth rate of nearly 1 percent, last year was considered the worst year for the local seafood industry in recent years, as breeding, producing, and exports, all faced difficulties. Breeders struggled with fluctuating prices and diseases since the beginning of the year, causing a decline in shrimp crops. Meanwhile, firms faced a financial crunch, shortage of material, and were forced to operate perfunctorily or even run the risk of bankruptcy. Last year, demand from the EU market, the major … [Read more...]

Vietnam to produce cheap smartphones and tablets

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Vietnamese consumers may have more choices when the first locally made smartphones and tablets are unveiled at around just USD50, one official said. Thieu Phuong Nam, CEO of Qualcomm in charge of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, announced that the company is cooperating with Vietnamese producers and network providers to realise the plan. According to Nam, mobile phones are a new technology trend that could change the lives of people in Vietnam and many other countries in the world. "3G and mobile devices have become a common part of people's lives when they find more affordable to normal mobiles," he noted. He said that Qualcomm planned to intensify its operations in Vietnam this year in a bid to bring 3G technology to almost every resident in the country. "While there are around two billion 3G subscribers in the world, Vietnam has only 20 million 3G subscribers, according to the Ministry of Information and Communication. We see a great potential for 3G development in Vietnam in the … [Read more...]

Vietnam tech firm plans to sell 600,000 smart phones

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FPT Technology Products Company, a subsidiary of technology giant FPT, plans to shift from production of feature phones to smart phones to catch up with the global trend, news website Saigon Times reported. The company hopes to have 600,000 smart phones under its own brand name in the market this year, Le Hoang Hai, its deputy director, said. It expects smart phones to make up 70 percent of its mobile handset sales, he added. It would make efforts to push sales of its smart phones above the country's average growth rate, which was 15 percent last year, by using the latest technologies, it said. FPT IV from FPT Technology Products Company is the first Vietnamese-made smart phone to use a quad-core processor. The company has forecast growth in smart phones sales to double this year. Its FPT IV, which went on sale on February 18, became the first Vietnamese-made smart phone with a quad-core processor. Its price starts at VND4.45 million (US$213). The company entered the mobile … [Read more...]

Luxury Vertu TI unveiled in Vietnam

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Quoc Hung and Van Oanh FPT aims to sell 600,000 smartphones this year The 3.7-inch Vertu TI has the scratchproof sapphire crystal screen and the lightweight titanium casing which is five times harder than other smartphones. Running on Android 4.0, the smartphone is equipped with the 1.7 GHz processor, an 8MP rear camera and a 1.3MP front camera. Vertu TI is handmade by a single craftsman at Vertu's headquarters in Hampshire, England. Every VERTU Ti is signed by the craftsman before being distributed to buyers worldwide. In a related development, FPT Technology Products Company has set a target of selling 600,000 FPT-branded smartphones this year, said Le Hoang Hai, deputy general director of the company. FPT forecast the sales volume of smartphones would increase twofold this year, accounting for 30% of the total number of mobile phones sold in the domestic market, versus 15% last year. Smartphone consumption in Vietnam is rising rapidly. Therefore, FPT this year will … [Read more...]

A commune of “celebrities”

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VietNamNet Bridge - The young parents in Da Sar commune of Lac Duong district in Lam Dong province so admire their Korean and foreign movie idols that they have named their children after them. K Ra Jan My Lan, 20, wanted to name her child Kra Jan Kelly, after American singer Kelly Clarkson. Korean names commonly used in the commune include Chu Ru Lê Ram Bô, Sơ Ao Kim Su Li, Lơ Mu Ly Su In, Liêng Jrang Ha Ka Ka, Liêng Jrang Ju Ly Am, Kră Jăn Kelly, and Lơ Mu Uy Li Yam. Mr. Dơng Jun Ha Tang, 33, a local official, showed several books of birth registration with Korean and foreign names of famous actors and singers, such as Korean actors Kim Su Lee, Lee Soo In, the Brazilian football star Kaka and action star Rambo. "Naming children after Korean movie stars, singers, world-famous football stars or artists is on the rise in Da Sar commune. This young couples name them after their idols," Ha Tang said. He said there are hundreds of children named after world celebrities, mainly … [Read more...]

Financial shortfalls seen hitting 350 projects in HCMC

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VietNamNet Bridge – The city would not be able to begin work on 352 state-funded projects next year due to financial shortfalls, according to the HCMC Department of Finance. The city government has asked the People’s Council of the city to approve these projects at the council’s 18th ongoing session but the council said it would consider them at its next sitting to give the city government more time to review them. The delay would affect the implementation of the projects, the department’s director Dao Thi Huong Lan told a discussion session Tuesday afternoon. According to Lan, if the council did not give the nod at its ongoing session, the departments of finance and planning-investment could not arrange funding for those projects. "Data of the Department of Planning and Investment shows the number of projects without capital arrangements in the second half of the year is 352," Lan said. Investment disbursements for state-financed projects in HCMC have … [Read more...]

Sweets manufacturer sets foot in banking sector

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VietNamNet Bridge - Why has the Kido Group jumped into the banking sector? And why has it chosen the troubled Dong A Bank? Dong A Bank was once the bright star that caught the eye of Citibank. Opinions from well informed circles said Dong A has agreed to sell its shares to Kido, which was initially a sweets manufacturer and has recently decided to become a food company. Dong A Bank’s shares are traded at the low price of VND6,000 per share. Sources said that Kido decided to spend VND1 trillion to buy the bank’s shares at the high price of VND10,000 per share. The information has stirred up the investor community which cannot understand why Kido wants to jump into the banking sector, and why it chose Dong A Bank. Dong A’s total assets have reportedly increased by 34 percent since 2011, but its profits have decreased, while it took a loss in the fourth quarter of 2014. The bank’s finance report showed it incurred a loss of VND122 billion in the quarter, … [Read more...]

Airlines’ big spending on new aircrafts raises concerns about public debt

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VietNamNet Bridge - The government has guaranteed the loans that Vietnam Airlines got from commercial banks to buy modern aircraft. Will this add to the public debt burden? Vietnam Airlines, the national flag air carrier, and Vietjet Air, the first private airline in Vietnam, have caused controversy with their plans to expand their fleets. Vietnam Airlines has received one Boeing 787 Dreamliner, a super-product of the modern aviation industry. The state-owned air carrier plans to spend VND21.2 trillion on its fleet expansion plan in 2015 alone, under a plan approved by the Prime Minister. Meanwhile, Vietjet Air has spent $56 million to buy an aircraft engine and spent another $680 million to buy six A321s more under a plan submitted to the Ministry of Transport. Under current laws, the loans under the government’s guarantee are counted as public debt, which means that the public debt will increase with loans for Vietnam Airlines. The Head of the Civil Aviation Authority … [Read more...]

Vietjet offers daily flights for HCM City – Chu Lai route

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VietNamNet Bridge - Private airline Vietjet has announced to increase frequency on its HCM City - Chu Lai route to seven return flights per week as of August 4 to further meet demand and offer passenger’s maximum convenience. With this increase, the HCM City - Chu Lai route will operate daily. With each leg taking approximately, one hour and fifteen minutes, flights take off from Tan Son Nhat International Airport at 7:25am and arrive in Chu Lai at 8:40am. Return flights depart from Chu Lai at 9:15am and land in HCM City at 10:30am. To facilitate passengers in the central provinces of Quang Nam and Quang Ngai to travel to Chu Lai airport, Vietjet also offer a free shuttle bus service as follows: In Quang Ngai Province: The daily shuttle bus departs for Chu Lai airport at 6:30am from Cam Thanh Hotel, 1 Pham Van Dong Street, Quang Ngai City. The return shuttle is featured at Direction Boards at the pick-up area in the airport In Quang Nam Province: The daily shuttle bus … [Read more...]

Dead fish float on Saigon’s major canal

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VietNamNet Bridge - After heavy rains, tens of thousands of dead fish were found floating on Nhieu Loc - Thi Nghe Canal in HCM City. Many people said the cause was wastewater discharged by industrial enterprises located along the canal. In recent days, fish have died en masse on Nhieu Loc - Thi Nghe, the major canal that runs through District 1, District 3, Tan Binh, Binh Thanh, and Phu Nhuan. As observed on the evening of July 29, the water turned opaque yellow, with bubbles. Tens of thousands of dead fish, stuck under bridges with rubbish and water-ferns, causing a very bad smell. Dead fish float from the canal to the Saigon River. Most of the dead fish are tilapias, carps and snakeheads. Local people have asked the authorities to quickly take out the dead fish to prevent pollution. Tens of thousands of fish still living have to emerge to the surface to breathe. According to local residents, several industrial enterprises took advantage of the rains to discharge wastewater … [Read more...]

Images of the devastation caused by torrential rains in Quang Ninh

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VietNamNet Bridge - Local authorities and people in Quang Ninh Province are still trying to clean up the severe damage created by five days of torrential rain. To date, 23 people have been reported either dead or missing. The province has spent a total of VND15 billion (US$740,000) on financial assistance to hundreds of families left homeless by the deluge. Yesterday, most electricity supply was reconnected as the provincial power company replaced damaged lines and reinforced transmission stations. The heavy rains destroyed water supply pipes and flooded several water supply stations in Cam Pha and Ha Long cities. However, continuing rain has presented many problems. Authorities said it might take one or two weeks for supply to resume. Workers have been cleaning up the mess to prevent any outbreaks of disease. The provincial authority has asked all agencies and residents to help collect waste and debris. People in Mong Duong Ward of Cam Pha City have been told to shift to safe … [Read more...]

Vietnam’s foreign exchange reserves reach $37 billion, 10 tons of gold

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VietNamNet Bridge - Viet Nam’s foreign exchange reserves by the end of July 2015 had reached $37 billion, the State Bank Governor Nguyen Van Binh told the Saigon Economic Times Wednesday. "This includes reserves in foreign currency, which we can use immediately. And if we include other items such as gold, deposits of the treasury and credit institutions at the State Bank (not in VND) ... the figure is approximately $40 billion. Currently we own 10 tonnes of gold," he said. This was the first time since the end of last year that the SBV Governor has disclosed the foreign exchange reserve figures. This was also the first time the Governor has announced the amount of gold reserves. Vietnam’s forex reserves were thought by some to have declined because of the increase of the trade deficit in the second quarter of 2015. Late last year the foreign exchange reserves of Vietnam peaked at $36 billion. However, the latest figures show that foreign exchange reserves continue … [Read more...]

Thai group acquires VN packaging firm for $42.8mil.

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VietNamNet Bridge – The Thai group - SCG - has spent 1.5 billion baht (approximately $42.8 million) to acquire 80% of Vietnamese packaging company Tin Thanh (Batico), according to the Bangkok Post. Kan Trakulhoon, President and CEO of SCG, said the deal was conducted through a subsidiary - TC Flexible Packing Co. (TCFP). Another subsidiary of SCG - SCG Packing Plc. Batico - is holding 52.2% shares of TCFP. Batico is among the top five largest packaging manufacturers in Vietnam. Each year the company produces 230 million m2 of packaging. Kan said that last year Batico’s revenue was $41.06 million. According to Roongrote Rangsiyopash, who was chosen to replace Kan as SCG Chair, the deal aims to expand the production of paper and packaging and become a leading packaging manufacturer in ASEAN. Kan also added that, in Vietnam, SCG has expanded paper and packaging manufacturing in recent years because the potential of this sector in Vietnam is quite large, with an annual … [Read more...]

Why did Mai Kieu Lien resign as Vinamilk chair?

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VietNamNet Bridge Mai Kieu Lien, who is considered the ‘soul’ of Vinamilk, the nation’s leading dairy producer, has officially resigned as chair of the board of directors, though Vinamilk shareholders vowed to veto the dismissal. Related news Mai Kieu Lien no longer Vinamilk Chair Mai Kieu Lien is a famous businesswoman not only in Vietnam, but also well known in Asia and the world. CNBC newswire calls Lien ‘Dairy Queen’ and the Vietnamese Margaret Thatcher because the iron woman deserves credit for turning Vinamilk into a strong brand. Meanwhile, Forbes listed Lien as one of the 50 most influential businesswomen in Asia. In fact, the news about Lien’s resignation first appeared in local newspapers three months ago. Opinions from well-informed circles then said that Lien was about to get retired, therefore, she would not be able to represent SCIC (the State Capital Investment Corporation), the biggest shareholder, in Vinamilk. Those who … [Read more...]

Coal industry suffers $25 million in damages after floods in Quang Ninh

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VietNamNet Bridge – A representative of the Vietnam Coal and Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin) said on Wednesday that the torrential rains in Quang Ninh, Vietnam's kingdom of coal, caused losses of about VND500 billion (nearly $25 million) for the group. Most of the coal mining firms have halted production. Related news Image: Quang Ninh people seach for coal in flooded stream Heavy rains flooded coal mines of many companies like Quang Hanh, Ha Lam, Mong Duong, and 790, and damaged coal railways in Cua Ong and Hon Gai. Ha Lam Coal Company lost about 7,000 tons clean coal, which was washed away to streams and the sea. Two coal mines of Ha Tu Coal Company were completely submerged. Roads from Ha Lam and Ha Tu coal companies to the port of Lang Khanh were eroded. At Hon Gai Coal Company, heavy rains caused landslides on some internal roads and one of the coal grounds was covered with 2,000 cu.m of soil from the broken Ha Tu damp. Heavy losses also were incurred by the … [Read more...]

How did Vietnam football benefit from Man City’s tour?

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VietNamNet Bridge – Manchester City was highly paid by the Vietnamese partner and had an opportunity to advertise its name when it visited Vietnam. How did this benefit Vietnam? The trip to Vietnam of Man City will certainly help promote the England team’s image in Vietnam and increase the number of Vietnamese fans. The more Vietnamese fans they have, the more royalties the club can get from the TV rights of the English Premier League. One of the principles of sharing TV royalties of English football clubs is the direct broadcasting of their matches on pay television channels each season. TV broadcasters will air the matches viewers are interested in and the more fans FCs have, the more money they will get. Thus, Man City benefits a great deal from its trip to Vietnam. On the side of the Vietnamese partner, Saigon Hanoi Bank (SHB), SHB’s boss Do Quang Hien said Man City’s tour to Vietnam was not completely flawless, but bringing Man City to Vietnam was … [Read more...]