Top local banks see simultaneous changes in top positions

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While a Japanese national has been appointed the deputy head of Vietcombank, Sacombank and Eximbank have relieved the posts of their two deputy general directors so that they can move to work at their subsidiaries. Yutaka Abe, a Japanese national, was appointed the deputy general director-cum-member of the board of directors of the Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam, better known as Vietcombank, starting Sunday. (September 30). … [Read more...]

Banks see simultaneous changes in top positions

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While a Japanese national has been appointed the deputy head of Vietcombank, Sacombank and Eximbank have relieved the posts of their two deputy general directors so that they can move to work at their subsidiaries. Yutaka Abe, a Japanese national, was appointed the deputy general director-cum-member of the board of directors of the Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam, better known as Vietcombank, starting Sunday. (September 30). … [Read more...]

Business news in brief

On June 26, ACB Growth Investment Fund (ASIAGF), a close public fund, will debut 24,008,000 fund certificates on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange. The debut price is set at VND10,000 a share with a trading band of plus minus 20 percent on first trading day. On June 25, the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange allowed Hung Vuong Corporation (HVG) to sell 1,260,320 treasury shares, or 2 percent stake. From June 28 to July 25, Nguyen Thi Xuan Thao, IR officer of MIRAE Joint Stock Company (KMR), registered to sell 329,450 shares, reducing her ownership to 26,234 shares, or 0.08 percent stake, for personal need. From June 29 to July 29, Ho Truc Lam, IR officer of Sacombank Securities Joint Stock Company (SBS), registered to sell all 5,220 shares for personal financial need. Bui Thi Bich Lien, sister of Bui Phap, chairman of Duc Long Gia Lai Group Joint Stock Company (DLG), registered to sell all 194,768 shares from June 28 to July 27, or 0.55 percent stake, for personal need. Le Quoc Binh, CEO of Ho … [Read more...]

Sacombank Shareholders General Meeting: Many Unexpected Things to Come

Sacombank's General Meeting of Shareholders on 26th May is forecast to contain lots of unexpected happenings regarding personnel issues, because its ownership and personnel have changed dramatically before the meeting. Sacombank's Annual General Meeting of Shareholders is forecast to contain lots of unexpected news, with information continuously released before the meeting. Saigon-Thuong Tin Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Sacombank - ticker: STB)'s Annual General Meeting of Shareholders this year will be organised on 26th May 2012 in Ho Chi Minh City. The list of attending shareholders was fixed on 20th April. The content of the meeting will focus on summarising operations of 2011 and plans for 2012, including reports of the Management Board and Supervisory Board. The shareholders will also express their approval or denial of reports under their authority. Recently, Sacombank has made several changes in personnel. Mr Pham Nhat Vinh resigned as Deputy General Director from 2May. Along … [Read more...]

M&As to create fresh business synergies

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Following the emergence of great merger and acquisition (M&A) activities in 2011, new M&A deals are expected to continue transforming the business environment in 2012. Thanh Thuy reports. M&A activities in Vietnam are set to grow by 20-40 per cent this year. That is the predication of VinaCapital managing director Andy Ho who made a presentation at the fourth annual M&A Forum that VIR organised in Ho Chi Minh City last week. The figure will break the record of M&A deals in Vietnam in 2011, estimated at $4.7 billion, according to Thomson Reuter, IMAA and AVM Vietnam statistics. However, it did not surprise speakers and around 450 participants from leading corporations and investors attending the forum. Bao Viet Securities CEO Nhu Dinh Hoa said: "Vietnam can reach the figure [growth of 20-40 per cent] or higher growth as conditions leading to considerable growth in 2011's M&A deals and value still exist." Hoa said the high cost of domestic capital and a … [Read more...]

Vietnam ministry, Japan bank ink MOU on investment facilitation

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The Planning and Investment Ministry (MPI) and Japanese Mizuho Corporate Bank inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) Thursday in Hanoi concerning support for Japanese companies' investment in Vietnam. According to the MoU, the two sides will exchange information on Vietnamese investment projects that could be of high interest to Japanese businesses. They will cooperate to organize seminars in Japan to promote investment in Vietnam as well as to consult potential Japanese investors on Vietnam's business environment. … [Read more...]

Teaching English in Saigon: At what cost is paradise?

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In this file photo, used for illustrative purpose only, a Vietnamese teacher teaches English at a foreign language center in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Dao Ngoc Thach There's a shortage of good jobs for recent graduates in the West. I know; I am one. The only financially viable post-university options included either returning to my parents' house, returning to non-graduate employment or interning for free while sleeping on sofas. In such an unforgiving employment market, the option of teaching English in Vietnam seems like a dream - a chance to live in a novel environment, get paid high wages and, perhaps most importantly, drink cheaper beer. Vietnam’s rocketing economy and optimistic government targets about wanting every child to have some access to a native English teacher by 2020 has resulted in an increasing demand for native English speakers. Such high demand for native speakers has shaped the utopian nature of the living and working conditions being advertised to … [Read more...]

Ben Tre and Nam Dinh: Stepping up fuel oil and gasoline examination and inspection efforts

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Under the direction of Ministry of Science and Technology in its Circular 62/CD-BKHCN dated 11 January, 2012 on stepping up fuel oil and gasoline examination and inspection efforts, Ben Tre and Nam Dinh Provinces' People's Committees issued guiding documents that assign their Departments of Science and Technology to undertake, in coordination with Departments of Industry and Trade, the provinces' Public Security and People's Committees at the city, district and commune levels, and the media, efforts to step up the examination and inspection of fuel oil and gasoline sold in the provinces, technical specifications of measuring and sampling instruments at examined sites, and of vehicles that were burnt partially, as well as inspection of stores where the vehicles that were burnt had been sold. Any violation if found will be dealt with according to the law. This document also contains orders for related agencies to warn consumers of gas stations that sell below standard gasoline … [Read more...]

21 kg elephant tusk seized in airport

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For illustration purpose only (Photo: SGGP) The Department of Customs on June 30 said it has uncovered and seized an illegal transport of elephant tusks originated from Africa. Related agency found tusks weighing 21 kilogram on the flight from France to Vietnam in Tan Son Nhat International Airport. According to the Department of Customs, while officials were completing entry procedures, they found 20 tusks hidden in the luggage of a Vietnamese passenger. The deparment will conduct more investigation over the case. … [Read more...]

Realty developers – relief in sight

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The local realty sector, after having a representative propose an unfeasible plan aimed at lightening their burden of unsold inventories, might breathe a sigh of relief as the state will try to support it with a new relief package. For illustration purpose only Photo: Tuoi Tre The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) last week announced a draft circular stipulating regulations on lending operations to support the real estate market. The draft document is a follow-up to the government's Resolution No 02/NQ-CP dated January 7. Under the draft law, the central bank will set aside VND30 trillion (USD1.43 billion) to support five state-owned commercial banks, including Agribank, BIDV, Vietinbank, Vietcombank and Mekong Housing Bank, to lend to eligible borrowers through refinancing. To carry out the policy, those state-owned commercial banks will have to spare at least 3 percent of the total outstanding loans as of the end of last year to lend to civil servants and state employees, those … [Read more...]

Western Bank, PVFC in merger deal

Western Commercial Joint Stock Bank has recently publicized its merger plan with PetroVietnam Finance Joint Stock Corp (PVFC), a subsidiary of the national petroleum conglomerate PetroVietnam. For illustration purpose only The plan was brought up for discussion in the shareholders' meeting of Western Bank in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho last Saturday. Though Western Bank has publicized its merger plan and a proposal seeking VND37 trillion ($1.75 billion) in financial assistance from the central bank to finalize the deal, PVFC continued to deny that it will take place. Marry me, marry me not Last Wednesday PVFC, coded PVF on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE), sent an official dispatch to exchange stating that the company is in the process of researching a restructuring scheme under the Government's directives, so it has no formal basis to disclose information on the issue. This is the second time PVFC has denied information related to the merger with Western … [Read more...]

Traffic cops could be allowed to shoot their attackers

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Under a draft regulation proposed by the Ministry of Public Security, police in Vietnam including traffic officers are allowed to shoot their aggressive attackers with guns in a bid to curb the increasing violent assaults on law-enforcement forces. Tran Vi Dan, deputy head of the Legislation Department under the Ministry of Public Security, said that the draft is aimed at protecting on-duty officers but does not allow them to abuse power. Under the draft, on-duty officers are permitted to use force and assisting instruments (e.g bludgeons, tasers) to overpower and detain their attackers in case the assault shows signs of a "not-serious crime" and allowed to use guns if the assault is deemed a "very serious crime". Statistics show that more than 8,500 assaults on-duty officers have been reported and 13,700 assaulters have been detained in the past 10 years. Accordingly, police took criminal proceedings against 11,000 assaulters in 6,900 cases, 90 percent of whom acted … [Read more...]

Knife attack in China’s Xinjiang kills 4: government

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Several knife-wielding attackers killed four people and wounded eight others in China's ethnically-divided western region of Xinjiang, a government official said on Friday. Regional spokeswoman Hou Hanmin said the attackers were members of the Uighur ethnic group. They often have tense relations with the millions of Han Chinese who have moved to the region in search of jobs. The attack occurred on Thursday in Korla, in the centre of Xinjiang, Hou said, adding that one of the assailants had been detained and police were searching for the others. She did not identify the ethnicity of the victims, or whether the attack was politically motivated. Chinese leaders are currently gathered in Beijing for the annual meeting of the National People's Congress, a rubber-stamp parliament. Riots between Uighurs and Han Chinese in Xinjiang's capital Urumqi in 2009 killed around 200 people, leading the ruling Communist party to tighten security and boost investment in the region. … [Read more...]

Oil prices rise on uncertainty after Chavez death

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Oil prices climbed in Asian trade Wednesday on uncertainty following the death of Hugo Chavez, the president of major Latin American crude producer Venezuela, analysts said. New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in April, added 26 cents to $91.08 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for April delivery rose 43 cents to $112.04 in mid-morning trade in Asia. "The impact of the news seems to be minimal at this point in time, but some speculation and risk has been priced into oil futures," Ker Chung Yang, senior investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore, told AFP. "Chavez has been in this position for so long, so there is a risk embedded in the political transition that could result in a disruption of oil supply." Jason Hughes, head of premium client management at IG Markets Singapore, said the full impact of the left-wing leader's death has yet to be felt but traders are watching for signs of instability within OPEC member Venezuela. Venezuela … [Read more...]

U.S. warns Iran of more “isolation” in nuclear dispute

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The United States warned Iran on Wednesday that it faces further international isolation if it fails to address the U.N. nuclear watchdog's concerns about its atomic activities, which the West suspects may have military purposes. The European Union also used a board meeting of the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency to pile pressure on Iran to stop obstructing an IAEA investigation into suspected atom bomb research by Tehran, which denies the charge. Washington and its Western allies were signaling their determination that the Islamic state must give the IAEA access to sites and documents, regardless of broader talks between Iran and world powers that resumed last week. Iran's envoy to the Vienna-based U.N. agency hit back, saying the allegations over his country's nuclear work were "baseless" and suggested the IAEA, not Tehran, was to blame for the failure so far to revive the stalled inquiry. Some diplomats say Iran is using its meetings with the IAEA merely for … [Read more...]

Disease hits cattle, poultry in Mekong Delta

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Cattle and poultry in some provinces in the Mekong Delta have been hit by diseases such as bird flu and blue ear. Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus, also called blue ear, is spreading among pigs in the Mekong Delta province of Long An, particularly in Tan Tru and Chau Thanh Districts. More than 200 pigs have been infected so far. The animal health staff have also distributed around 30,000 vaccine doses to farmers in Hoa Binh and Gia Rai Districts of Bac Lieu Province. Animal health authorities in Kien Giang Province have destroyed 16   infected chickens from a flock of 559, after they received test results that confirmed bird flu virus in the poultry. Cao Duc Phat, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, has ordered local governments to inform animal health agencies of infected poultry, so that timely action can be taken. District authorities in affected areas have also set up control stations to stop illegal transport of diseased pigs to … [Read more...]

Agro-forestry, fishery exports top $4.8 bln in 2 months

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The export of agro-forestry and fishery products grossed 4.83 billion USD in the first two months of this year, a year on year rise of 31.5 percent. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam shipped abroad 415,000 tonnes of coffee for 884 million USD, up 22.3 percent in volume and 38.1 percent in value year on year. The US and Germany remain the country’s largest coffee importers. During the period, shipments of rice rose by 68.2 percent to 677,000 tonnes valued at 310 million USD, down 15.4 percent in value. Pepper also contributed 169 million USD to the revenue of the country’s farm produce exports, with a total volume of 25,000 tonnes. Rubber, tea and cashew nuts saw declines in volume but maintained fair revenue growth. The export of rubber dipped 31.5 percent to 179,000 tonnes, bagging 518 million USD, a 16.6 percent increase. Tea raked in 33 million USD from the 21,000 tonnes exported, down 5.7 percent in volume but up 18.6 … [Read more...]

No forex rate adjustment – a real relief

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The director of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), Nguyen Van Binh, has told Tuoi Tre that the operating mechanism of the foreign exchange rate between the US dollar and the Vietnam dong in 2013 would not change from 2012. The purchasing power of the dong over the dollar was stable during the last year, and the former even gained value against the latter by year-end, Binh said. Before the Lunar New Year festival, or Tet, Governor Binh told Tuoi Tre that there were experts suggesting that the SBV devalue the dong against the greenback, but SBV refused to do so to entrench the hard-earned value of the national currency. But the side effect of such suggestions, aimed at encouraging exports, has stirred up market concern over a possible devaluation [as it did in 2011 right after Tet], offering speculators a chance to take advantage of the situation by pushing the unofficial forex rate [in the black market] for profits. This is the first time ever the central bank has been … [Read more...]

Following 2012 FX policy does more harm than good: experts

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Maintaining the 2012 foreign exchange policy this year may not be as helpful for the economy as it was throughout the last two years, local experts say. Banking expert Nguyen Tri Hieu has told Tien Phong newspaper that the State Bank of Vietnam should allow the exchange rate to fluctuate within 3 percent, and lower the depositing interest rate to 7 percent. This should be done as soon as possible, and the most appropriate timing is within the first quarter of this year so that the depositing interest rate can be cut the following quarter, he said. The same idea was shared by Nguyen Duc Thanh, director of the Hanoi-based Vietnam Centre for Economic and Policy Research (VEPR) under the Vietnam National University in Hanoi, in a scientific conference held in late January in the capital city. In order to restore national economic growth, the country should attempt to reduce lending rates and maintain sufficient credit supply, he said at the conference, called "2013 … [Read more...]