Social News 20/3


Google gets its translate on in Vietnam After a successful 18 March launch in HCMC of the new Google Translate Community, the U.S. Embassy’s American Center in Hanoi, in cooperation with Google, will host "Love Your Language" translate-a-thon on March 21. At this event, Google invites Vietnamese to participate in this collaborative effort to improve the Vietnamese language on the web and help make useful information more accessible to users in Vietnam, and abroad. While Google Translate has been available in Vietnamese for some time, there is a lot that Vietnamese speakers can do to help improve the quality of Vietnamese translations online. Two go missing after boat capsizes in reservoir Two persons were missing after a boat capsized in a reservoir in the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang on Monday, authorities said. The two missing persons were identified as a couple from Xuan Hoa Village in Quang Binh District's Tien Nguyen Commune. The couple was travelling in … [Read more...]

Cervical cancer killing 9 Vietnamese women daily: Report

Medical staff is providing guidance on reproductive health to women in Hai Lang District, Quang Tri Province. One of the main reasons for the growing incidence of the cervical cancer in Vietam is a lack of regular health check-ups.

At a conference held in Hanoi today to raise awareness about cervical cancer, it was revealed that nine women are dying every day in Vietnam because of the disease. Reports at the conference, which was co-organised by the Institute for Reproductive and Family Health and the Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation, also revealed that 20 out of every 100,000 Vietnamese women have the disease, and 11 of them could end up dying. One of the main reasons for the growing incidence of the disease is a lack of regular health check-ups. Besides, women living in remote areas tend to ignore the importance of this matter and do not even get vaccinated against the disease, which is largely lacking across Vietnam. "Cervical cancer is a disease that has stolen the lives of many Vietnamese women," said Nguyen Viet Tien, Deputy Minister of Health. Le Duc Tho, a doctor working at the German Agency for International Co-operation, said the agency has been implementing a programme on fostering local … [Read more...]

Taxi cab robberies become violent

Ha Noi Police have issued a warning to taxi drivers about a spate of violent robberies – File photo (Illustrative image)

VietNamNet Bridge – Ha Noi Police have issued a warning to taxi drivers about a spate of violent robberies in the first two months of this year. According to Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Minh Quang from Ha Noi's Criminal Police, most of the thieves were young drug-addicts. He noted that they had become more and more reckless. While the cash and goods stolen did not amount to much, the aggressiveness involved worried taxi companies and drivers. Quang said the robbers usually hired taxi cabs at night and asked drivers to take them to deserted places, where they suddenly attack the driver. On the night of January 20, taxi driver Cao Xuan Huynh, who parked in My Dinh resident area, was asked by a youth to drive him to Le Duc Tho Street. After getting on board, the passenger kept asking him to turn into small, dark lanes. When they went down one alley, the passenger attacked the driver with a knife and demanded cash. The driver escaped and asked passersby for help. In the first … [Read more...]

Opportunities from Loosening Credit Packages


For the plan of 2015, the Vietnam State Bank is building the credit growth target of the system 15-17 percent, an increase of 2-3 percent compared to 2014. The loosening of credit packages will enable banks and enterprises to supply and receive more funds. In early 2014, many banks, and the whole banking system had negative credit growth. It may not constitute a rule, but the case of 2014 is expected not to happen in 2015. A race for credit growth since the beginning of the year The Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank) is one of many banks with a significantly increasing credit in 2014 and in the two first months of 2015, the bank has a credit growth of 5 percent. According to Nghiem Xuan Thanh, Chairman of Vietcombank, the credit growth has reached one third of the year. In 2015, the credit growth of Vietcombank is projected to be about 18 percent. Like Vietcombank, the Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade (Vietinbank) has a … [Read more...]

Banks consider taking part in proposed credit program to save property market


VietNamNet Bridge – Some big banks said they would take part in a VND50 trillion credit program initiated by the State Bank to warm up the property market, which has not improved over the last few years despite government bailouts. Deputy Minister of Construction Nguyen Tran Nam said the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) is considering launching a credit program to help stimulate the real estate market. At least VND50 trillion would be disbursed over 10 years at an interest rate of 7 percent in the first year to help develop the commercial housing market. Some analysts, however, said they doubt that commercial banks could arrange a huge amount of capital to provide for such a long period. Banks currently provide preferential loans under specific credit programs at preferential interest rates of 7-9 percent, but the fixed interest rates are applied for the first two years only. The interest rates for the following years are later determined based on market demand. An analyst … [Read more...]

SBV to boost Vietinbank, Vietcombank


The State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) wants Vietinbank and Vietcombank to become the leading banks of Viet Nam, and boost their scale at the regional level. SBV Governor Nguyen Van Binh made the announcement at a Vietinbank meeting on January 23, adding that this is part of a restructuring scheme for the domestic banking system. "This is a difficult task," he told the local press. Binh said the central bank needs Vietinbank to actively take part in the general process of handling weak lenders, by providing assistance related to human resources, management experience and prestige. He specified that the industry and trade bank can combine efforts by merging with a smaller bank, and any merger will not financially hurt it, but will promptly help it expand its network. The governor had expressed a similar viewpoint during a Vietcombank meeting a week earlier, when he confirmed that the foreign trade lender was set to merge with Saigonbank as part of a systematic reform … [Read more...]

“Signing quickly”- that’s how reporter Mai Thuc Long worked

Reporter Mai Thuc Long, former Deputy General Director of VOV

(VOVworld)- Respecting the truth and expressing your true sentiments is the way reporter Mai Thuc Long, whose nickname is Hoang Phuong, wrote his stories. In late July 1987, after graduating from the Nguyen Ai Quoc School of Politics, I returned to work at the radio station. I wanted to come back to the Industry Section but Pham Mai Luan, Deputy Editor in Chief and Head of the Domestic Service said: "No, no. We sent you to study at the Senior Party School in order to assign you a new task. You can choose to work in one of the three Departments: Organization, Office or the Listeners' Department". I insisted that I wanted to be a reporter. Luan then said: "OK, then why don't you come talk to Mr. Long "Fire" after the regular meeting tomorrow" I knew Mr. Mai Thuc Long by name and by face but this was the first time I had heard his nickname "Long Fire". Mr. Long "fire" worked in a tiny room at the end of the second floor which could accommodate a few people and was piled high with … [Read more...]

VietinBank gets nod to form bank in Laos

A customer transacts at VietinBank’s branch in Laos - PHOTO: VIETINBANK

Kim Ngan According to SBV’s Document No. 216/NHNN-TTGSNH, VietinBank will have to inaugurate VietinBank Lao Limited within 24 months after the date of approval. This incorporation is based on VietinBank’s current branch in the neighboring country. The branch has been faring well since its establishment in 2013. The branch now provides money transfer, lending, loan guarantee and card services, among others. Its assets grew 43.29% last year compared to the year earlier and profit doubled. Le Duc Tho, general director of VietinBank, said in addition to supporting businesses, the branch has contributed much to enhancing economic cooperation between the two countries. Establishing a subsidiary in Laos is part of VietinBank’s strategy to branch out to potential growth markets. The local bank has two branches in Germany as well. … [Read more...]

Vietinbank to list SBV shares on HCM City stock exchange


The Viet Nam Bank for Industry and Trade (VietinBank) will list all shares owned by the State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) on the HCM City Stock Exchange soon. VietinBank General Director Le Duc Tho announced the plan in an online statement on Tuesday. He notified the State Securities Commission and the exchange in dispatches sent on the same day, after the SBV gave its nod for the listing last December. According to the local press, VietinBank has a charter capital of about VND37.23 trillion (US$1.77 billion), the combined value of the 3.72 billion shares that are in circulation. The SBV holds 64.46 per cent of the equity, or 2.4 billion shares, while the remainder is owned by other shareholders and already listed on the HCM City exchange. Market observers said that with the additional listing, VietinBank shares will be the sixth most influential shares on Viet Nam's benchmark VN-Index, after the shares of PVGas, Vinamilk, Vietcombank and Vingroup, as well as Masan Group. With … [Read more...]

Exchange rate adjustment helps businesses operate proactively

Exchanging foreign currency. (Photo for illustration)

The State Bank of Vietnam’s recent increase of the inter-bank average exchange rate by one percent is seen as a positive move to help import and export businesses take strong initiative at the outset of 2015. Deputy Governor of the central bank Nguyen Thi Hong said the move is intended to position the market ahead of recent developments in domestic and international financial markets, adding that the SBV will continue to enact measures and policy instruments in order to stabilize the exchange rate and foreign currency market on this new rate platform. The adjustment will be especially beneficial for the export sector, since Vietnam remains highly dependent on exported goods, noted Can Van Luc, a banking-finance expert. Meanwhile, Deputy Director of the Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank) Pham Thanh Ha said the exchange rate adjustment was timed to indirectly increase the foreign currency supply and the foreign direct investment (FDI) disbursement. The early … [Read more...]

SBV adjusts USD exchange rate


(VOVworld) – The Vietnamese central bank announced Tuesday that it will increase the interbank exchange rate between the Vietnamese dong (VND) and the US dollar (USD) 1% on Wednesday. The State Bank of Vietnam said on its website that the interbank average exchange rate will increase from 21, 246 VND/USD to 21,458 VND/USD. Vietinbank General Director Le Duc Tho hailed the adjustment, saying it will create trust for the market and is an important factor in making Vietnam’s monetary development more transparent and sustainable. State Bank of Vietnam Deputy Governor Nguyen Thi Hong told VOV: "The adjustment is implemented to realize a recent government resolution on tasks and solutions to fulfill the country's socio- economic development plan and budget estimate for 2015. The state bank is responsible for actively managing monetary policy to control inflation, secure macro-economic stability, and boost economic growth." Ms. Hong said the State Bank of Vietnam will closely … [Read more...]

State changes state-owned banks’ leadership


VietNamNet Bridge – New faces have appeared holding the key positions at state-owned banks and at banks in which the State holds a controlling stake. The recent big changes in state-owned banks’ key personnel occurred concurrently. On December 5, 2014, Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam released the decision that Nghiem Xuan Thanh, chair of Vietcombank’s Board of Directors, will represent 40 percent of the state’s capital in Vietcombank, while Pham Quang Dung, member of the board, CEO of Vietcombank, will represent 30 percent of the state’s capital. The decision was the final step in the central bank’s program on renovating the leadership of the bank. Under the program, Thanh in early November was appointed as the chair of the board of directors in 2013-2018 to replace Nguyen Hoa Binh, who retired, and Dung was put in the position of CEO, which was formerly Thanh’s. VietinBank also released many decisions related to the changes in … [Read more...]

Remittance ‘grey market’ thrives towards year-end


VietNamNet Bridge – Remittances are pouring into Vietnam towards the year’s end, but most of this money is bypassing the official banking sector. Agents including gold shops and foreign exchange counters, which are not allowed to trade foreign currencies, are some of the most popular routes for money to pour into the country. There are also illegal groups which transfer remittances from South Korea, Japan or the US to Vietnam by air. Earlier this year, the Japanese police arrested Tran Xuan Chin for money laundering. Chin was suspected to have transferred more than 500 million yen ($4.2 million) into Vietnam. In June 2014, the Binh Minh gold shop in Ho Chi Minh City was also fined $1,400 for illegal foreign exchange trading. According to Decree 202/2004/ND-CP, organisations that trade remittances illegally can be fined from $2,100 to $3,200. Nguyen Hoang Minh, deputy CEO of the Ho Chi Minh City branch of the State Bank of Vietnam, says that very few gold jewellery … [Read more...]

Banks launch promotions for money transfer services

The Saigon Times Daily Incoming remittances normally grow prior to the Lunar New Year holiday, or Tet, so banks have adopted new measures to benefit from this market movement. Vietcombank is among the banks through which US$1 billion is remitted home a year. This year, the bank has deployed a promotion program for recipients of remittances via MoneyGram, UniTeller and TNMonex services. Meanwhile, Saigon Commercial Bank (SCB) has begun a promotion program for clients using Western Union service. Le Duc Tho, general director of VietinBank, said the bank has repeatedly improved remittance and payment services to raise its competitiveness. "We have a global money transfer service firm to facilitate services in Vietnam. In the coming time, it will provide individual payment services as part of a strategy to increase its market share." … [Read more...]

Vietinbank signs US$139 million loan agreement with foreign banks


(VOV) - The Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade (Vietinbank) on December 5 signed a contract with 5 Taiwan banks for a US$139 million syndicated loan. They include Mega International Commercial Bank, Far East National Bank, Hua Nan Commercial Bank, the Shanghai Commercial and Savings Bank. The transaction was arranged by Cathay United Bank of Cathay Financial Corporation which has branches in Viet Nam. Vietinbank Director General Le Duc Tho spoke highly of the cooperation between VietinBank and five Taiwan banks, saying that this opens more cooperative opportunities between the Vietnamese bank and its partners. Signing the loan contract will help raise Vietinbank’s credibility on the international financial market and show international investors’ trust in it. … [Read more...]

Foreign remittances to Vietnam considerably increase


The Hanoitimes - Banks predict that remittances from overseas Vietnamese will reach US$12 - 13 billion this year. Over the past three years, the country has seen a sharp increase in remittances, from US$9 billion in 2011 to US$11 billion in 2013. Head of the Ho Chi Minh City branch, State Bank of Vietnam, Nguyen Hoang Minh said Vietnam would remain in the list of the world’s top 10 remittance recipients with US$12.1 billion, up about 10% compared to a year earlier. Similarly, the Bank for Investment and Development (BIDV)’s also forecast a 10% increase in overseas remittance to US$12 billion by the end of this year. … [Read more...]

Inward remittances expected to rise to $12 bln this year


The amount of inward remittances to Vietnam by the end of this year is expected to rise to $12 billion, a record rate following the trend set in 2011-2013. During the last 3 years, the amount of inward remittances continued to increase from $9 billion in 2011 to $10 billion in 2012 and $11 billion in 2013. … [Read more...]

Overseas remittances to hit US$12 billion in 2014


(VOV) -Banks predict that remittances from overseas Vietnamese will reach US$12 - 13 billion this year. Over the past three years, the country has seen a sharp increase in remittances, from US$9 billion in 2011 to US$11 billion in 2013. Head of the Ho Chi Minh City branch, State Bank of Vietnam, Nguyen Hoang Minh said Vietnam would remain in the list of the world’s top 10 remittance recipients with US$12.1 billion, up about 10% compared to a year earlier. Similarly, the Bank for Investment and Development (BIDV)’s also forecast a 10% increase in overseas remittance to US$12 billion by the end of this year. … [Read more...]