Cell phone buying energy not as strong as expected

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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...]

BUSINESS IN BRIEF 26/1

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...]

BUSINESS IN BRIEF 23/1

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...]

Vietnam looks forward to new investment wave from South Korea

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VietNamNet Bridge - The presence of many big South Korean conglomerates in Vietnam is expected to lure other South Korean investors to Vietnam in the time to come. Hyosung on May 6 received an investment certificate for its $660 million project on making industrial fiber in Dong Nai province. This is the third project of the group in Vietnam. It is invested through a subsidiary in Turkey, and the other two projects, also in Dong Nai, are capitalized at 995 million. South Korea was named by the Foreign Investment Agency as the biggest foreign direct investor in Vietnam in the first four months of the year with committed investment capital of $909 million. Shin Dong Bin, President of Lotte Group, which has invested in many business fields in Vietnam, from real estate to retail, from fast food chain to cinema complexes, said Lotte is following necessary procedures to develop a smart complex with huge capital of $2 billion in Thu Thiem new urban area in HCM City, while it is still … [Read more...]

An old pipe-tobacco processing village in central Vietnam

VNE/VNN

VietNamNet Bridge – People in Thuong Dinh village in Quang Xuong district in Thanh Hoa province harvest tobacco. Tobacco plants are grown in September and harvested in April-May of the next year. Local farmers said they have to take care of the trees very carefully, otherwise they will be attacked by fungus. At this time, villages of Thuong Dinh are busy harvesting tobacco leaves. After plucking the leaves, farmers will keep tobacco leaves in plastic bags for four to five days to have a special aroma and then roll leaves into 2m tobacco rolls. They will then cut these tobacco rolls into small fibers and dry them under the sun. After tobacco fibers are dried, they will be packed for sale. Prices are around VND300,000-VND400,000 per kilo ($13-18). In addition to harvesting the leaves, farmers collect seeds to serve the following season. … [Read more...]

Petrolimex incurs huge losses

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VietNamNet Bridge – Holding nearly 50% of the domestic gasoline market, Petrolimex Group suffered huge losses last year, mainly caused by its subsidiary in Singapore. Petrolimex Singapore incurred losses of about $31.38 million in 2014 due to the fall of oil prices and complicatedly geopolitical development in the world. The figures come from a report to the Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang last December by the representative of Petrolimex, Bui Ngoc Bao, who is Chair of Petrolimex. The report showed that the main cause of losses came from the purchase of gasoline at a time when gasoline prices were high ($120.91/barrel on average) for stocking at the VanPhong bonded warehouse. As the oil prices fell later, the firm could not sell the gasoline, resulting in prolonged inventory. At the same time, the derivative operations were also affected the same way, incurring losses of about $2 million. "Petrolimex Singapore has incurred huge losses and is facing … [Read more...]

Khanh Hoa vows to develop Phoenix beach project amid criticism

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VietNamNet Bridge - The Khanh Hoa provincial authorities have shown their strong determination to develop Phuong Hoang beach (Phoenix) in Nha Trang City, ignoring protests from organizations. The sea city of Nha Trang in the central province of Khanh Hoa has become a "hot spot" of the country as provincial authorities have agreed on the Indian Dewan Group’s project on developing construction works in the east of Tran Phu – Pham Van Dong, the major road which faces the seaside. The group has got permission to implement two projects, including the Phoenix Garden 40-65-storey complex, covering an area of 50,000 square meters, and the 40-45-storey hotel & service complex, covering an area of 10,000 square meters. The Khanh Hoa provincial Union of Science & Technology Association (USTA), former chair of Khanh Hoa People’s Committee, and Secretary General of the Khanh Hoa Tourism Association all have advised against the Phoenix beach development … [Read more...]

UAE group wants to build $500 million parking lot in HCM City

The UAE business delegation.

VietNamNet Bridge - EPS Group from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) proposed to build an intelligent parking lot in HCM City in the form of BOT (build - operate - transfer), at a cost of $500 million, at a recent meeting with HCM City’s Chairman Le Hoang Quan. Rustam Ibragimov, representative of EPS Group, said the group has invested in parking lot projects in 19 countries. In HCM City, if its project has been approved, EPS will develop a system of parking areas, traffic monitoring, traffic control center and vehicle warranty, among others. At the meeting, Chairman Le Hoang Quan said the city is calling for investment in projects such as tramway, tourism real estate, underground parking lots, high-rise parking lots and some metro routes. The city’s public transport system can meet only 15% of travel needs and local authorities want to raise the rate to 25-30% in the future by calling for investment in infrastructure projects, including tramway and metros. Quan said to … [Read more...]

BAKV launches Vietnam’s first high-end smartphone

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VietNamNet Bridge – BKAV – Vietnam’s leading network security firm – launched its first smartphone Bphone on May 26, after many advertising campaigns. Related news Bkav-style marketing "explosions"BKAV criticized for misleading advertising for smartphoneBKAV-made smartphone gets bad rap even before its releaseBKAV to produce trully Made-in-Vietnam smartphones Before the launching ceremony on Tuesday, which reportedly cost VND10 billion (nearly $500,000), with 2,000 guests, held at the National Convention Center in Hanoi, the public had been stirred up by information about "a Vietnam-made smartphone, comparable to the iPhone". BKAV managers said the smartphone could compete with iPhone and Galaxy Note but the details of the product had been kept secret. BKAV managers also said the firm planned to sell the product worldwide and would compete directly with iPhone and Galaxy Note, the products in the same segment. "The best known technology groups in the world … [Read more...]

HCM City wants to borrow World Bank’s loans to combat flooding

A market at Binh Tan District, HCM City is flooded after raining.The city People's Committee has submitted a plan to State officials to address flooding problems.

VietNamNet Bridge – The HCM City People's Committee has submitted a plan to State officials to address the city's flooding problems. Most of the VND9.9 trillion (US$460 million) flood risk management proposal would be financed with Official Development Assistance (ODA) funds from the World Bank ($422 million), the city authority said on Monday. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and the Ministry of Planning and Investment must review and approve the measures before they take effect. The HCM City Steering Centre for Anti-flooding Programme would connect the city's existing infrastructure to counter flooding caused by high tides and increase the city's water drainage capacity, according to the city's proposal. It would also work on cleaning waterways. The plan has three phases. During the first phase, the city would update its hydro-meteorological centre's equipment, flood risk database, early warning system, flood response capabilities and canal system. In the second phase it … [Read more...]

VN Aviation Administration to tighten baggage security

Customs check security at the Noi Bai International Airport. The Civil Aviation Administration of Viet Nam has issued a plan to ensure aviation security.

VietNamNet Bridge – The Civil Aviation Administration of Viet Nam (CAAV) has issued a plan for better management and prevention of theft of passengers' baggage and cargo, and to ensure aviation security. The plan has been issued following an incident in which the personal belongings of a group of passengers going from Bangkok, Thailand, to Ha Noi by Vietjet Air last Saturday were stolen from a suitcase. The suitcase's lock had been broken. The CAAV has been checking all regulations related to the process of receiving, delivering and transporting passengers' luggage, to add more necessary regulations. It aims to tighten management and assign detailed responsibility to organisations and individuals at different stages of the luggage-handling process. The CAAV asked agencies in the aviation sector to check all employees who are connected to luggage and goods transporting services. The CAAV also has set preventive security measures, such as the frisking of employees and checks … [Read more...]

Egyptian trance duo Aly&Fila to rock Ha Noi

The Egyptian trance music duo Aly&Fila is coming to rock Ha Noi on Friday -- File photo

VietNamNet Bridge – The Egyptian trance music duo Aly&Fila is set to rock Ha Noi on Friday. The party is expected to fuse the feel of a large-scale festival with a unique intimate atmosphere and connection to the stage and performers. The duo comprises Aly Amr Fathalah (aka Aly) and Fadi Wassef Naguib (aka Fila). They host an Internet radio show called Future Sound of Egypt. In 2011, their track We Control The Sunlight, which featured Jwaydan Moyine was chosen as Tune of the Year on Armin Van Buuren's show A State of Trance. Aly&Fila is currently ranked No. 28 in the DJ magazine, among the top 100 DJs in the world, ranking consistently in the top 30 of this list every year since 2008. They delight crowds, now numbered annually in the millions, bringing their inimitable sound to the world's most prestigious clubs and festivals. Named by Bandsintown as the most active musical act in the world for 2014, the duo has visited a staggering 46 countries. Trance is a genre … [Read more...]

Entertainment floods Hanoi

Vim and vigour: Thien Nhan, winner of The Voice Kid 2014, debuts her live show today. She will perform the songs that impressed audiences during the contest. — Photo hanoimoi.com.vn

VietNamNet Bridge – As International Children's Day (June 1) nears, Hanoian children seem to have an abundance entertainment options, with several new plays and music programmes set for the occasion. Popular cartoon characters will star in a new music and dance programme to be performed by the Youth Theatre from May 30 to June 1. Entitled Adventure in the Cartoon World, the show centres on Anna and Elsa, the princesses from Frozen; Baymax from Big Hero 6; Maleficent from Maleficent; and Princess Aurora from Sleeping Beauty. Mischievous characters from other cartoon series will appear, including from Oggy and the Cockroaches, Upin-Ipin, The Pink Panther, and the Russian-made Nu, Pogodi! (Well, Just You Wait!). Alongside this performance, the Youth Theatre will also debut De Men Phieu Luu Ky (Adventures of a Cricket). Adapted from the children's tale of the same title written by To Hoai, the play tells the story of a cricket who leaves his nest and travels around. He grows … [Read more...]

HCM City wants to share profits with Phu My Hung

Phu My Hung new urban area.

VietNamNet Bridge - The operator of the high-end urban area Phu My Hung has contributed $18 million to the Phu My Hung joint venture, but the Vietnamese party has not shared the profits. In a petition to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the HCM City People’s Committee said that in some cases in which state-owned companies cooperated with foreign enterprises in joint venture firms, they did not share profits although the joint ventures earned big profits for many years. The reason was that the ownership rate of the State firms in joint venture companies was too small, so they could not decide on the distribution of profits. The Phu My Hung Development Co., Ltd is a joint venture between the Central Trading & Development Corporation of Taiwan and Tan Thuan Industrial Development Company Limited, a State-owned firm under the management of HCM City authorities. The legal capital of the joint venture company is $60 million, including $18 million contributed by the … [Read more...]

Rolling out the “red carpet” at border gates: are investors vulnerable?

GC, the largest duty-free supermarket in Moc Bai border-gate economic zone has been closed due to losses.

VietNamNet Bridge - The closing of G.C., the largest duty-free supermarket at the border gate economic zone of Moc Bai (Tay Ninh province), has posed questions about rolling out the "red carpet" for businesses at border gate economic zones in Vietnam. On Nov 26 2013, the Prime Minister signed Decision 72, applicable from May 15 2014, on not selling tax-free wine, beer etc. for tourists, including buyers from Cambodia at border-gate economic zones. Subsequently, on May 15 2014 the Ministry of Finance issued Circular 109, applicable from Oct 1 2014, on immediate taxing (import duty, luxury tax, value added tax), on goods imported from foreign countries into non-tariff zones. Companies in the border-gate economic zone of Moc Bai said they had to close because of these regulations. "Death" caused by policy change According to G.C. supermarket, the regulations almost completely eliminated benefits and incentives for businesses operating in the border-gate economic zone of Moc Bai. … [Read more...]

BAKV officially launches its high-end smartphone

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VietNamNet Bridge – BKAV – Vietnam’s leading network security firm – launched its first smartphone Bphone on May 26, after many advertising campaigns. Related news Bkav-style marketing "explosions"BKAV criticized for misleading advertising for smartphoneBKAV-made smartphone gets bad rap even before its releaseBKAV to produce trully Made-in-Vietnam smartphones Before the launching ceremony on Tuesday, which reportedly cost VND10 billion (nearly $500,000), with 2,000 guests, held at the National Convention Center in Hanoi, the public had been stirred up by information about "a Vietnam-made smartphone, comparable to the iPhone". BKAV managers said the smartphone could compete with iPhone and Galaxy Note but the details of the product had been kept secret. BKAV managers also said the firm planned to sell the product worldwide and would compete directly with iPhone and Galaxy Note, the products in the same segment. "The best known technology groups in the world … [Read more...]

Phu Yen water-supply plants break down as water shortage worsens

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VietNamNet Bridge - The dry season has just begun, but the water shortage in the central province of Phu Yen has become serious. Meanwhile, multi-billion water supply projects in the locality are not working properly. Phu Yen’s people have been experiencing scorching days for many months, when the temperature was 35-39oC. The rice fields have been affected and water wells dug by residents are becoming depleted. Thousands of households do not have enough water. "The wells are depleted. We have to take water from streams for daily use. We have no other choice," said Le Thi Sen in My Phu hamlet of An Hiep commune. The water shortage is most serious in Son Dinh commune of Son Hoa mountainous district, where 500 local households live. Half of the households, mostly poor families, have to buy clean water at a high price of VND60,000-70,000 per cubic meter for daily use. Every house has two to three personal water wells. However, the wells only give water in the rainy … [Read more...]

Vietnamese to take part in design of new nuclear reactor

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VietNamNet Bridge - Vietnamese scientists will team up with foreign engineers to design and build the first nuclear reactor in Vietnam. Dr. Nguyen Nhi Dien, deputy head of the Vietnam Atomic Energy Institute, head of the Da Lat Nuclear Research Institute, on May 21 confirmed that Vietnamese experts will be involved in the designing and building of the nuclear reactor. Dien said current conditions are different from that of 30 years ago, when Vietnam’s nuclear engineering was underdeveloped. To improve the Da Lat nuclear reactor, Vietnam in the past signed a turn-key contract with the former Soviet Union. The Soviet Union’s partners undertook all necessary work to upgrade the reactor, from the design to construction, and handed it over to Vietnam after all works were completed. This was a big problem which prevented Vietnamese scientists from approaching nuclear technologies. According to Dien, the construction of the new nuclear science and technology center is a … [Read more...]

Unreasonable recruitment scheme keeps talented employees away

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VietNamNet Bridge - State agencies cannot find talented candidates because of current recruitment methods, according to analysts. Hanoi has been urged to reconsider the way it organizes exams to employ civil servants. Analysts have pointed out that the failure of tens of candidates with high education degrees could only be attributed to the unreasonable recruitment scheme. Tran Thi Quoc Khanh, permanent member of the National Assembly’s Committee for Science, Technology and the Environment, noted that in fact, Hanoi is not the only locality which fails candidates with high degrees. "This is because our civil service exam scheme consists of systematic errors," Khanh said in an interview given to Dai Doan Ket. "People say that with the current recruitment scheme, even Professor Ngo Bao Chau may also fail the exam to become a civil servant in Hanoi," she said. Ngo Bao Chau is a Hanoi-born worldwide renowned mathematician. He received the Fields Medal, the most honorable … [Read more...]