BUSINESS IN BRIEF 9/3

Raw material price hike causes burden for steel, packaging industry Raw material prices for the steel and packaging industry have shot up a great deal, causing much difficulty and financial pressure on manufacturing companies in Ho Chi Minh City. Several packaging companies are facing difficulty due to increase in raw material price (Photo: SGGP) Despite the current freeze in the real estate market, steel prices have gone up by VND160,000-200,000 per ton to touch VND14.5 million in first week of March. According to Do Duy Thai, director general of Pomina Steel Company, the steel price hike is due to import price increase on raw material. Vietnam Steel Association has said that iron ore price has recently rocketed to US$158.5 per ton, the highest level in the last 15 months. Pham Chi Cuong, chairman of the association, said that the price of raw materials like iron ore, scrap steel and steel billets have escalated due to high demand in China. At present, the import price of steel … [Read more...]

Berjaya Corporation of Malaysia downsizes in Vietnam

Nguyen Hoai Nam, CEO of Berjaya Vietnam, on March 4 denied rumors that the company--a subsidiary of Berjaya Land Berhad in Malaysia, has decided to return two large-scale property projects in Ho Chi Minh City but confirmed downsizing its investments in an ailing real estate market in Vietnam. Nam said that the company was over-optimistic when starting the Vietnam Financial Center in District 10 in Ho Chi Minh City. After several buildings were constructed in District 1--providing large retail spaces for lease--the company realized that it would not be able to compete with those in the downtown area. Therefore, the company had to adjust the design of Vietnam Financial Center from five 48-storey towers to two towers and a lower area serving as a shopping center later. The new design which reduced the area for offices, apartments, and hotel rooms, was considered to be suitable with the current market demand. Hence, according to the original design, the project would cover an area … [Read more...]

Malaysia external trade development corporation (MATRADE) Promoting Vietnamese-Malaysian trade

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(VEN) - According to Malaysian Trade Commissioner in Ho Chi Minh City Ahmad Shanizam Ab. Ghani, the achievements of trade and investment relations between Vietnam and Malaysia have been quite significant. In trade relations, total bilateral trade continuously increased year by year, from US$991.91 million in 2002 to US$7,195.56 million in 2011, recorded an increase of 625.42 percent during 2002-2011 period and an average growth of 20 percent each year. For the first half of 2012, total trade of the two countries reached US$3.56 billion. … [Read more...]

BUSINESS IN BRIEF 7/1

State companies found with massive losses EVN is amongst the state-owned enterprises with steep debts and lossesAudit results and reports from ministries have revealed that many state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have been, or still are, in alarming financial states. These SOEs have repeatedly incurred steep losses and debts because of poor investments, the Saigon Times Online reported. Besides the already infamous debt-stricken Vinashin, the Electricity Group of Vietnam (EVN) is another typical example. By the end of 2010, the debt to equity ratio of this company was 4.22, according to the State Audit of Vietnam (SAV). As stipulated by the government, an enterprise is considered to be in a dangerous state if the ratio exceeds 3. "EVN's financial state is in difficulty, and unsafe," said SAV's report. Meanwhile, the ratios of other SOEs even far exceeded the maximum rate. According to a report issued last December by the Ministry of Finance, there are currently 30 state-run … [Read more...]

Berjaya says to stick to project commitments

HCMC - Malaysia's Berjaya Land Berhard has said that it is completing all necessary procedures to begin construction of the Vietnam Financial Center in HCMC after having the project site readied in May. The HCMC government might consider withdrawing the investment certificate of this project as Berjaya Land has made little headway on the project and has not completed investment procedures as pledged. An artist's impression of the Vietnam Financial Center in HCMC's District 10 Nguyen Hoai Nam, chief executive officer of Berjaya Land Berhard in Vietnam, said his firm had been striving to follow its commitments and had asked for approval to commence work on the project last week. The Vietnam Financial Center complex worth around US$930 million will be built in an area covering nearly seven hectares at the corner of Ba Thang Hai and Le Hong Phong streets in … [Read more...]

Huge foreign-invested property projects delayed in HCMC

Many foreign-invested real estate projects have not been carried out in HCMC although investors have received investment permit for many years (Photo: Minh Tri)

Figures from the HCMC Department of Planning and Investment (DPI) show the city authority has granted permits for 138 foreign-invested property investments. Some of them are worth up to billions of US dollars. Yet many projects have not been carried out although investors have received investment permit for many years, according to the statistics. Malaysian conglomerate Berjaya Land Berhad received the license in 2008 to develop an international university township in HCMC at a cost of $3.5 billion. The Vietnam International University Township (VIUT) will be located on a 900-hectare site in Tan Thoi Nhi Commune in Hoc Mon District, around 19 kilometers from the downtown area. VIUT is expected to be an integrated township comprising four main themes - work, knowledge, lifestyle and leisure. Besides an international university campus, it will also have a town center with office buildings, commercial blocks, hotels and convention facilities and civic and administrative … [Read more...]

Berjaya Corporation Berhad: A Leading Malaysian Investor in Vietnam

(VEN) - Berjaya Corporation Berhad has become one of the biggest Malaysian investors in Vietnam with nine large projects in many fields such as property development, five-star hotel and resort and financial services with total investment amounting over US$5 billion.The company has invested in many construction projects in VietnamBerjaya Corporation Berhad, a Malaysian diversified corporation with more than 100 subsidiaries and branches engaged in business fields such as property investment, financial services, gaming and lottery management, metropolitan infrastructure and information technology and the media. Hanoi Garden City is a project consisting of villas, a condominium, shops, a hotel, service apartments, offices and an international school, all covering a land area of approximately 32ha with infrastructure and services catering for current and future needs. It is located on the east of Hanoi, in Thach Ban Ward, Long Bien District. As part of the project, construction of Canal … [Read more...]

Berjaya’s Financial Center to get off ground next year

VietNamNet Bridge - The US$930-million Berjaya Vietnam Financial Center (BVFC) project will get off ground in HCMC in mid-2011, as pre-construction preparations have been well underway, said Malaysia's Berjaya Land Berhad as the investor. The complex will have skyscrapers over a vast area of 6.8 hectares at the junction of Le Hong Phong-Ba Thang Hai streets, and the design of the 1/500 scale will likely be approved next month, said Nguyen Hoai Nam, chairman of Berjaya in Vietnam. Berjaya Land Berhad is a subsidiary of Berjaya Corporation. … [Read more...]

FDI flow into HCMC falls 86% in 2009

The department reported that nearly 370 foreign-invested projects had been licensed this year with US$840 million in committed capital, falling by 28% and nearly 90% respectively against last year. Last year, many projects worth billions of dollars were licensed, like the Malaysian Berjaya's two property projects including the US$930 million Vietnam Financial Center in District 10 and the US$3.5 billion international university township project in Hoc Mon District. This year, the biggest project is worth US$294 million invested by British Virgin Islands' Viet Lien Luks Co. Experts said the city's drive to encourage eco-friendly services and hi-tech and less labor-intensive projects in sectors such as animal feed, dried food production and textile and garments has had an impact on investment activity. However, according to the department, operational foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) have boosted their capital in the city this year. A total of 114 operational foreign-invested … [Read more...]

Vietnam Financial Center to break ground next year

An artist's impression of the Vietnam Financial Center in HCM City

Berjaya Leisure (Cayman) Company, a subsidiary of the Malaysian group Berjaya Land BLand, expects to begin construction of the Vietnam Financial Center (VFC) in the first quarter of 2010. The company's General Director Nguyen Hoai Nam said the project is currently waiting for a building license. Construction of VFC, a complex including an office building, five-star hotel, service area and high-class trade center, is expected to cost US$930 million. It will be built on a 25.4 hectare area in District 10, Ho Chi Minh City. Mr. Nam also said the Vietnam International University Township (VIUT) project has now completed 50 percent of site clearance out of a total area of 925 hectares. The project will cost US$3.5 billion and be located at Tay Bac Urban Area in HCMC. … [Read more...]

Berjaya in deal with U.S. hotel manager

US$2-billion Nhon Trach new city project to get started next year An artist's impression of Nhon Trach New City in Dong Nai Province HCMC - Berjaya - D2D Co. Ltd., a unit of Berjaya Land Berhad, on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding with the U.S. hotel management company Marriott Inc. to manage a five-star hotel in the country's south. The 22-story hotel with 263 rooms is part of the broader Bien Hoa City Square project worth US$150 million which Berjaya - D2D is developing in Dong Nai Province. This hotel will be the first international lodging brand name in Dong Nai, providing quality hospitality and convention space for the province, when it is operational in 2012. Work on the Bien Hoa City Square covering nearly 2.6 hectares on Vo Thi Sau Street in the province's Bien Hoa City started in September last year. This project also comprises a 20-floor office building, a 20-floor high-end apartment building with 448 units and a three-story shopping center. Berjaya - … [Read more...]

Malaysia emerges as Vietnam’s biggest investor in Jan-Sept

HCMC - Malaysia has surpassed traditional top investors like South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore to become the biggest foreign investor in Vietnam in the first nine months of this year, says the Foreign Investment Agency. The agency of the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) says the country attracted a total of US$57.12 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in January-September, and that Malaysia made up some 26% of the amount via 37 licensed projects. An artist's impression of Vietnam International University Township Malaysia's rising profile in Vietnam's FDI scenario, according to the MPI, is attributed to some big-ticket projects licensed this year. These include a US$9.8 billion venture between Maju Stabil Sdn. Bhd, a unit of Malaysia's Lion Group, and Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group (Vinashin), to develop a giant steel complex and supporting facilities in the central coast province of Ninh Thuan. This was also the biggest FDI project to be licensed in … [Read more...]

HCMC attracts huge FDI inflows: DPI

The first nine months of this year saw an FDI inflow of US$7.83 billion into new projects in HCMC, the city's Planning and Investment Department said Sunday. This is 97 percent of the total inflow of $8 billion, with the remaining three percent being capital added to existing projects, it said. The figure also marks a six-fold year-on-year increase, the department noted. Malaysia topped the FDI list with a project worth $3.5 billion to build an urban area including the Berjaya Township International University in Hoc Mon District. … [Read more...]

Berjaya D2D breaks ground for major property project

HCMC - Berjaya D2D Company Limited yesterday started work on a major property development project worth US$100 million in the southern province of Dong Nai. The project will comprise a 22-floor, five-star hotel with 263 rooms, a 20-floor office building, a 20-floor high-end apartment building with 448 units and a three-floor commercial center. Guests inspect the model of Bien Hoa City Square project at the groundbreaking ceremony in Dong Nai Province yesterday Photo: Le Toan This is a joint venture between of Malaysia's Berjaya Land Berhad through its subsidiary Berjaya Leisure Cayman, and the local company Industrial Urban Development Company 2 (D2D). The Bien Hoa City Square project covers nearly 2.6 hectares in Thong Nhat Ward in Bien Hoa City. The project will be completed within some three years of construction, according to the joint venture. This is the first project which Berjaya has commenced work on in the country's south. The company has also received investment … [Read more...]

Vietnam licenses major Malaysian office and hotel construction

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Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee, Le Hoang Quan, Saturday granted a 50-year license for a Malaysian company to build a US$930-million office, hotel and apartment complex in District 10. Under the license, Jerjaya Leisure (Cayman) Limited, a subsidiary of Berjaya Land Bhd of Malaysia, will develop the area at the junction of Ba Thang Hai and Le Hong Phong streets into a world class financial center. The Vietnam Financial Centre will comprise three 48-story grade A office towers, one 48-story five-star hotel with ballroom and convention facilities, one 48-story luxury services tower and a multi-story high-end shopping mall. … [Read more...]

Health sector fresh blood

The lack of high-quality hospitals, increasing income levels and the rising age of the general population in Vietnam is making healthcare a profitable sector for private investors. >> Time to inject fresh capital into healthcare Statistics from the Ministry of Planning and Investment's Foreign Investment Agency show that there were 78 foreign-invested projects in Vietnam's medical industry, including pharmaceutical production, as of February 20, 2013. According to the Ministry of Health (MoH), only six hospitals and 14,354 clinics in the country are under the management of foreign investors at this time, and 130 other hospitals are under management of domestic private firms. Serving a population of 88 million, the healthcare system in Vietnam, both public and private hospitals, are lagging behind the growing demand for care. At some public hospitals, five or six patients even have to share a bed because of the overloading. Many wealthier Vietnamese are … [Read more...]

Patient unsatisfied with health care at Columbia hospital

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Excessive hospital charges and poor quality service from an international clinic prompted Hoang Quoc Tuan to speak out about his recent treatment at Columbia Asia Gia Dinh International hospital. Hoang Quoc Tuan said the quality of medical services he received at Columbia Hospital on May 20 was not worth the 8 million VND he paid for his 24-hour treatment. On May 20 at 5 p.m. Hoang Quoc Tuan went to the Columbia Asia Gia Dinh International hospital in Binh Thanh Disctrict, Ho Chi Minh City and stayed in a 63 USD-per-night VIP room to undergo treatment for the entire day and night. … [Read more...]

Obstacles to competitive electricity market

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Though the competitive power market has been in operation in Vietnam for some eight months, in practice EVN still holds a monopoly over the market. The current market has 45 power plants, a number that may increase to 67 in the future. The sole buyer of the electricity they produce is Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN), which is also a power trading company. Many people expressed concern that expanding the market will only make it easier for EVN to buy electricity at low prices and sell it at high prices. Last year, the Ministry of Industry and Trade gave the green light for EVN to establish three power generation companies, called Genco. These firms will eventually take over EVN's electricity generating plants and then separate from EVN by 2015. By that time the rate of EVN's power generation will be reduced to just 17-18%. However, EVN said that at present these three companies are still in too weak financial position to separate. Their debts to equity ratios are all too … [Read more...]