Cell phone buying energy not as strong as expected


VietNamNet Bridge - Although the Lunar New Year 2013 is drawing near, the cell phone buying energy remains mild, contrary to expectation of retailers. Dinh Anh Huan, sales director of the retail chain Thegioididong.com, said mobile phone sales had picked up slightly, estimated at 20%, versus a growth of 40% last year. At this time in previous years, the buying energy was very strong, but it seems to cool down this year. This suggests consumers are tightening their purse strings under the impact of economic downturn, said Huan. The latest statistics of Thegioididong.com show that its cell phone sales fell slightly in December last year and the sales volumes and revenues of the other months were almost the same, without any sudden growth. On average, the retail chain sold around 300,000 cell phones per month. Other mobile phone retailers like Mai Nguyen, FPT Shop, Vien Thong A and Viettel Smart also record modest growth in purchasing power. Smartphones with reasonable … [Read more...]


Thua Thien-Hue plans to attract VND2.9 tril. investment into IPs The central province of Thua Thien-Hue has planned to lure VND2.9 trillion worth of investment in its industrial parks (IPs) this year. This year, enterprises in IPs are expected to disburse nearly VND 2,890 billion and employ some new 3,000 people (up 21.9% against last year). In 2012, they made industrial production value of VND3,247, accounting for 39.2% of the province's total, and export turnovers of US$294.6 million, representing 64% of the total. IPs have lured 78 investment projects, including 42 operational ones. They enticed VND7,200 billion worth of investment in 2012, trebling the figure in 2011. Phu Quy wind farm opens The 6-megawatt Phu Quy wind farm in Phu Quy island district , Binh Thuan province began full operation on January 24, after a successful testing period in August, 2012. The wind farm, funded by the PetroVietnam Power Corporation, is the first one in Vietnam that uses both … [Read more...]


Asiana Airlines to own 50% of Kumho Asiana Plaza A 50% stake in the commercial center and hotel complex Kumho Asiana Plaza Saigon in HCMC will be acquired by Asiana Airlines, said Won Il Woo, president and CEO of Kumho Engineering & Construction. "This is an internal deal within Kumho as it is being made between its two subsidiaries, Asiana Airlines and Kumho Engineering & Construction," he said at a meeting with HCMC vice chairman Le Manh Ha on Thursday. He asked about the necessary procedures under Vietnamese law for this deal. "We don't know if we have to report to the central agencies in Hanoi, or if reporting to HCMC is enough," he wondered. In response, Vice Chairman Ha said the municipal government would review the project document next week and then give appropriate guidelines. "Normally, the authorities that license a project will handle changes in that project. However, when it comes to real estate, there are complicated regulations, so a careful review … [Read more...]

Software developer expects high profits

FPT's shareholders at the annual general meeting held on March 29 in Ha Noi. (Photo: Vietnamplus)

The software developer FPT Corp. hopes to make pre-tax profits of VND1.45 trillion ($83 million) this year, up 17 percent on the previous year, it announced at its annual general meeting of shareholders March 29 in Ha Noi. The meeting decided that dividends will be paid at 26 percent of last year's profits. The company will reinvest the rest to ensure operations in the following years. The company's revenues last year hit a record VND16.8 trillion ($1 billion). This year the company aims to make VND17 trillion despite the difficult economic situation. Its two subsidiary companies, FPT Information System and FPT Trading Company, will go public this year. … [Read more...]

Three 5,000-year skeletons unearthed in central Vietnam


VietNamNet Bridge - Three skeletons of ancient Vietnamese people have been found lying next to each other in an area of 6 m2, 1.8 m deep at an archaeological site in Ru Diep Mount of Ha Tinh Province. According to Mr. Nguyen Tri Son, Ha Tinh Museum Director, the skeletons are nearly 5,000 years old. They were discovered during an excavation from March 17 to 20 by the National University of Hanoi and the Australian National University. The three ancient skeletons are quite intact. "Initially, we can say that the skeletons belonged to the Neolithic period, nearly 5,000 years ago. The museum is mapped to determine the size," Son said. The Director of the Museum of Ha Tinh said Ru Diep Mount is an inhabited area. The discovery of the three skeletons is proof for the existence of ancient Vietnamese people in Ha Tinh. Previously, the Museum of Ha Tinh discovered the skeleton of an ancient Vietnamese in Thach Lac commune of Thach Ha district. Minh Thuy … [Read more...]

Vingroup wants to buy three largest railway stations in Vietnam

Hanoi Railway Station.

VietNamNet Bridge - Vingroup has submitted its proposal to buy the three largest railways stations in Vietnam – Hanoi, Saigon and Da Nang – to the Ministry of Transport. The information was revealed by Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang at a meeting on Monday. He said that the ministry was considering Vingroup’s proposal. "Da Nang has a plan to move the Da Nang Railway Station out of the center so the transfer of the rights to use the infrastructure of the old station is reasonable and harmonious. For the Hanoi and Saigon railway stations, we need to conduct research to modernize these stations, not by the State money," Minister Thang said. Thang asked the Vietnam Railway Corporation and related entities to consider the roadmap of selling the rights of use of railway stations to attract more investors and perform bids to choose the best ones. At the meeting on Monday, Sungroup proposed to buy the operation rights of key train routes. Sungroup Chairman Tran Thanh … [Read more...]

Viettel enters OTT market with new app


VietNamNet Bridge - After Vinaphone’s entry, Viettel, the largest mobile phone network in Vietnam, has officially penetrated the OTT market with the Mocha Messenger app. Vo Thanh Hai, Director of Viettel Telecom Media Center. After three months of being developed and tested (from last December) with approximately 30,000 subscribers, Viettel has officially launched Mocha Messenger app with many features introduced to be exclusive. In addition to sending text messages, voice messages and pictures, this application also supplies music, which Viettel confirmed to be the only feature on OTT apps in Vietnam and the world. However, Mocha Messenger does not have calling features like its rivals as Zalo, Viber, WhatsApp, Skype ... Vo Thanh Hai, Director of Viettel Telecom Media Center, which developed the app, said Viettel does not aim to seeking revenue from this service. "We will consider this goal when we have 10-20 million users. However, OTT services are a potential area … [Read more...]

SCIC wants to buy 10% stake in Military Bank


VietNamNet Bridge - At a shareholders' meeting of the Military Commercial Joint Stock Bank (MB) on Tuesday, MB Chairman Le Huu Duc confirmed that the State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) intended to buy a 10% stake in the bank to become a strategic shareholder. Duc said SCIC and many organizations were interested in and desired to own shares of the bank. MB Board of Directors worked with SCIC and set out the requirements for SCIC to be MB’s strategic shareholder. Duc also said that MB would acquire or merge with other credit institutions to establish its subsidiaries in an aim to promote the consumer finance sector. Luu Trung Thai, MB Vice Chair, said that MB has researched the operation of two banks for merger. However, research showed that the merger is not the best option. There are many other modern methods to increase network and clients - cooperating with Viettel Corporation. Although the operation results of MB in 2014 were very good, many shareholders still … [Read more...]

Image: Collection of old Vietnamese newspapers exhibited

An Ha newspaper.

VietNamNet Bridge – The exhibition "150 years of Quoc Ngu (Vietnam national language script) newspapers in the period 1865-1954" includes many old and rare newspapers, gathered from valuable collections of many newspaper collectors across the country. The exhibition lasts from April 18 to 21 and is being held at the Vietnam National Library in Hanoi. The exhibition showcases more than 150 old newspapers, selected from the collections of four collectors Ta Thu Phong, Hoang Minh, Trinh Hung Cuong and Nguyen Phat Ha Giang. In this exhibition, alongside famous newspapers such Gia Dinh, Nam Phong, Thanh Nghi, Phong hoa, and Khai Tri Tien Duc journal, are the first newspapers on the topics of industry-commerce such as Nong Co Min Dam and Saigon Economic Weekly, and the first newspapers on the topics of women such as Tan Van Women and Equality Daily Newspaper, and newspapers for children, including Children's Magazine and Children’s Graphics, among others. Old newspapers in the … [Read more...]

Saigonese enjoy shimmering night scenes on new pedestrian street


VietNamNet Bridge – The first pedestrian street in HCM City, Nguyen Hue Road, in District 1 was put into trial operation on the evening of April 20. As the road was not opened to the public, local people stood outside the fence to take pictures. Related news HCM City’s first pedestrian street in pictures The Nguyen Hue pedestrian street is 670 m long, 64 m wide, with a total funds of nearly VND430 billion (about $20 million). The street will open to the public on the occasion of the city’s Liberation Day, April 30. Photos taken on April 20: … [Read more...]

Banks cannot sell debts because DATC doesn’t accept market prices


VietNamNet Bridge - The banks’ debt sale has been going very slowly because a powerful buyer, the Debts & Assets Trading Corporation (DATC), wants to buy debts cheaply. DATC, established in 2003 with chartered capital of VND2 trillion under a Prime Minister’s decision, is an instrument designed to make state-owned enterprises’ (SOEs) financial status healthy. Selling shares through auction together with accounts receivable is the new method DATC applied for the first time in April 2015. DATC announced the sale of 200,000 shares of the Waterways Investment & Construction JSC associated with the accounts receivable of VND22.5 billion. The starting price was set at VND12.07 billion for the whole lot. According to DATC, the Waterways Investment & Construction JSC has VND9.8 billion in capital and 2014’s modest profit of several hundreds of millions of dong. Analysts doubt the shares can find buyers once they are sold together with the accounts … [Read more...]

Seafood firms oppose hike in freight charges; could lead to higher transport costs


VietNamNet Bridge - A 70 percent increase in freight charges is expected to lead to a doubling or tripling of transport costs for seafood companies. Foreign shipping firms, including Yang Ming, CMA CGM, OOCL and Wan Hai Vietnam, have announced increases in freight fees and surcharges starting April 1. Nguyen Hoai Nam, deputy secretary general of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), said the unreasonable charges and surcharges set by foreign firms are a financial burden for seafood export firms. Foreign shipping firms raised the fees sharply in June 2014, when one 20-feet seafood dry container to the US was charged $2,300. In March this year, the fee rose by 70 percent to $3,900 per container. Nguyen Van Kich, chair of Cafatex, said the company has to pay 15-20 percent of its revenue on transport costs, which means the 70 percent freight increase would triple transport costs. "Seafood companies are dying," Kich said. "Their business has shrunk … [Read more...]

Rock band to jam at City universities on free tour

Rocker Pham Anh Khoa and his band PAK have performed during a free music tour at 10 colleges and universities in HCM City since Monday. — VNS File Photo

VietNamNet Bridge – Rocker Pham Anh Khoa and his PAK band will play for free during their tour of 10 colleges and universities in HCM City. The event, called Rock Cung Sinh Vien (Rock with Students), debuted on Monday at the University of Sai Gon, before travelling to the other colleges and universities this month. Khoa and his band will perform before an audience of 500 whose taste usually runs to pop and dance music. Their performance will bring their message that "Rock is freedom". "Through our tour, we hope to encourage love for rock in an area dominated by pop and dance," said the 30-year-old Khoa. Well-known from television, Khoa has turned down opportunities from leading music producers and entertainment organisers who wanted to promote him as a pop idol. "I like rock music. It's exciting and fierce like us, like young people," said Khoa, who, with his band, has spent seven years working hard to make music. In 2009, Khoa met and signed a contract with Music … [Read more...]

Why is Danang at the top, and Hanoi at the bottom?


VietNamNet Bridge - What did the government of Da Nang do to be at the top of the provincial competitiveness index (PCI) in 2014?Governance and public administration: We are at a standstill On April 14, the 2015 survey "Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index" (PAPI) conducted by the Vietnam Fatherland Front, Center for Community Support and Development Studies (CECODES) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was released. Held for the fourth time, PAPI has become a credible tool for policy monitoring, a mechanism for people to "mark" the provincial governments and express their satisfaction with the job of local governments. PAPI 2014 shows a panorama that is not different in comparison with the starting point four years ago, in 2011. In the six areas measured: the participation of citizens, transparency, accountability, control of corruption, and provision of public services, the national average score declined in the first field and … [Read more...]

Experts say aircraft at risk of being hijacked from computer hackers


VietNamNet Bridge - Modern civil aircraft could be hijacked by hackers from the ground, according to experts. CNN cited a report from the GAO (US Government Accountability Office) as saying that anyone sitting on an airplane can use the wifi network in the passenger compartment to penetrate the computer system in the cockpit. In some cases, even hackers on the ground can also break into the system to hijack aircraft. The wifi network on airplanes could be the gateway through which hackers intrude into operating systems. Modern aircraft such as Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Airbus A350 and A380 all are equipped with a computing system in the cockpit which connects the wifi network for passenger use. This allows passengers access to the internet during flights. In theory, when a network connection is on, passengers on airplanes or on the ground can access the aircraft operating system. This could be a threat to flight safety. In principle, telecom companies all apply measures to … [Read more...]

Vietnam too slow in setting indoor air standards


VietNamNet Bridge - While other governments worldwide have set up national standards for indoor air, Vietnam, which faces serious air pollution, still does not have a set of standards. Residents are suffering as a consequence. Nguyen Ngoc Tuan and his family moved to a new apartment in Dong Anh District several months ago. Since then, Tuan has suffered from shortness of breath and headaches, while his two children cough regularly. The doctors said they have pneumonia. "My family and I were very strong before and I cannot understand why we got sick," he said. "The doctor then told me that we lived in a bad environment with toxicity from new wooden furniture and paints." In another case, recently, tens of people unexpectedly fainted at Big C supermarket at The Garden in Nam Tu Liem District in Hanoi. The reason, according to environmental monitoring experts, was caused by poor indoor air quality. Ngo Quoc Khanh, from the Scientific Research Institute of Labor Protection, said … [Read more...]

Schools confused about departments’ inconsistent policies


VietNamNet Bridge - Everything has become as tangled as bamboo shavings as the Hanoi Education and Training Department has changed its decision on tests overnight. On April 17, the enrolment plans of three secondary schools – Marie Curie, Nguyen Tat Thanh and Luong The Vinh – received approval from the Hanoi Education and Training Department, under which they would select best students by testing students’ abilities. The other schools would select students by considering their learning records. However, the department’s decision was only valid for several hours, because on the evening of the same day, the department’s deputy director Pham Van Dai released an express dispatch which asked the schools not to implement the plans. The dispatch stipulates that secondary schools can only select students by considering their learning records and abilities, and they must not organize entrance exams under any form – no exam, and no comprehensive … [Read more...]

Katy Perry to attend Under- 30 Summit in Vietnam

Singer Katy Perry.

VietNamNet Bridge - American singer, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Katy Perry will come to Vietnam to participate in the "Under 30 Summit," an event held by Forbes Vietnam in HCM City on May 12. Related news The most prominent under-30 faces in Vietnam Under the theme: "The Next Generation", Forbes Vietnam’s Under 30 Summit, the first of its kind in Vietnam, will focus on the young generation, those who were born in the 70’s and 80’s forward. A full day conference including keynote speeches, on –stage interviews and panel discussions will discuss the identity of this generation, their opportunities and challenges, their dreams and goals and their leadership visions. UNICEF, IDG Ventures Vietnam and YAN are strategic partners with Forbes Vietnam in organizing this Summit. By participating in this Summit, UNICEF will further promote the voice of young people and their role in improving the lives of future generations. "Forbes Vietnam’s Under 30 Summit … [Read more...]

Nam Son waste dump torments local residents

Illustrative image -- File photo

VietNamNet Bridge – Heavy pollution from the Nam Son garbage dump has badly affected the lives of residents in Ha Noi's Soc Son District, officials say. Nguyen Tien Van, Vice Chairman of the Nam Son Commune People's Committee, data compiled by the commune's healthcare office, show respiratory diseases had increased over the past several years. Environmental workers collect samples from the dump for testing every three months, but the situation seemed to be under-evaluated and reported, he said. "We still have to live with the toxic smell and use polluted water for daily life." Vu Tien Luc, head of Xuan Thinh Ward, which is located about 300m away from the city's biggest garbage dump, said a total of 156 residents were suffering from "terrible pollution of water and air." Pointing to a stinking dump that looked like a mountain with swarms of flies around it, Luc said that although residents used masks when going outside, the stink and the polluted air penetrating directly … [Read more...]

A dozen Chinese traders dominate Vietnam’s watermelon market


VietNamNet Bridge – The major buyers of Vietnamese watermelons are Chinese traders. This is a reason cited by the Ministry of Industry and Trade why many watermelon trucks have been stuck at the Vietnam-China border gates in recent days. According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, over 10 Chinese merchants dominate the selection and reception of quality watermelons at the border gates. After harvest, Vietnamese traders transport watermelons to the Vietnam-China border, but the right of selection and receipt of the qualified fruit entirely belongs to Chinese traders. "The customs clearance takes two to four hours instead of over a minute as usual. The long time of clearance affects the quality of watermelon," said Deputy Minister Tran Tuan Anh. The official said China’s demand for watermelons increases by 10% each year. Particularly in 2015, it is estimated that 130,000 tons of watermelons will be exported to this market. This crop is easy to cultivate so it is … [Read more...]