Analyst underates market, saying hard to find short-term profits
Analysts from securities companies have a bleak outlook on the market trend this week and say that finding short-term profits has become more difficult.
On the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, the VN-Index closed Friday up 0.23 per cent at 1,420.27 points, expanding the weekly gain to 2.17 per cent.
An average of 680.4 million shares were traded on the southern exchange during each session last week, worth VND23.5 trillion (US$1 billion).
Viet Nam’s stock market continuously set historic peaks last week, with high liquidity and the strongest net buying value in the first half of the year. This positive development together with the news that HoSE will officially operate a new trading system provided by FPT Securities Joint Stock Company this week supported the market.
However, Tran Xuan Bach, a stock analyst at Bao Viet Securities Co (BVSC), said: "The market is expected to fluctuate in a narrow range with strong divergence between stocks."
"If the index successfully breaks the resistance zone at 1,405-1,420 points, the market is likely to head to the resistance zone at 1,455-1,480 points in the short term. Q2 business results will continue to manipulate the market in the short term," he said.
According to Saigon-Hanoi Securities Corporation (SHS), the market had a third consecutive gaining week with a slight increase in liquidity compared to the previous week and approximately the 20-week average, showing that money is still pouring into the market.
"Even so, market breadth was not really good with the number of losers outnumbering advancers in most of the sessions," SHS said.
"Finding short-term profits is becoming more difficult. From a technical perspective, VN-Index has a strong resistance around 1,420 points," it said.
SHS recommended that investors continue to monitor transactions this week when HoSE’s new system is put into operation so that they can determine the next trend of the market.
An expert from BOS Securities Joint Stock Company (BOS) said: "Technically, VN-Index would continue to increase and surpassed the resistance level of 1,420 points. However, the divergence would increase in the market along with the struggle between buyers and sellers."
"Most likely, VN-Index will see a struggle and accumulate in the range of 1,420 – 1,430 points in a few sessions. Investors are recommended to prioritise maintaining current portfolios and strengthening risk management."
According to statistics of SHS, information technology stocks increased the most last week, mainly thanks to the increase of pillars such as FPT Corporation (FPT), up 7.9 per cent, CMC Telecom (CMG), up 6.8 per cent.
The group was followed by consumer services stocks with typical gainers such as Vietjet (VJC), up 4.1 per cent, and Vietnam Airlines Corporation (HVN), up 0.6 per cent.
Banking stocks gained strongly thanks to the pillars of Vietcombank (VCB), rising 2 per cent, Bank for Investment and Development (BID), gaining 3.3 per cent, Techcombank (TCB), increasing 5.2 per cent, VPBank (VPB), up 5.7 per cent and Saigon Hanoi Bank (SHB), up 7 per cent.
Construction materials were boosted by strong gains of large stocks such as Hoa Sen Group (HSG) up 2.7 per cent, Hoa Phat Group (HPG) up 3.2 per cent, PetroVietnam Fertiliser and Chemicals Corp (DPM) up 4.2 per cent and Nam Kim Group (NKG) up 10.7 per cent.
Vietnam posts high economic growth in six months despite COVID-19
Despite impacts from two waves of COVID-19 outbreaks in the first half of this year, especially on industrial hubs, Vietnam still posted gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 5.64 percent and its export revenue rose 28.4 percent over the same period last year.
Although the GDP expansion was lower than the target set by the Government, it was much higher than 1.82 percent recorded in the same period last year.
This showed the effective policies, strategies and directions from the central to local levels with the implementation of "dual targets" of controlling the pandemic and ensuring socio-economic development at the same time.
At a national conference on COVID-19 prevention and control held recently, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh asked sectors and localities to apply measures to prevent the pandemic with priority given to the protection of people's health and maintaining production. The standpoints have been persistent right from the beginning of the pandemic outbreak. Through each wave of COVID-19, Vietnam has made flexible adjustments in its strategy to respond to the pandemic.
Taking people as the centre of policies and the dual targets as the motto for actions, resolutions and documents issued by the Party, National Assembly and Government daily have shown efficiency in controlling the pandemic and boosting socio-economic development. Thanks to the directions, GDP growth in the first quarter of this year rose strongly, at 4.48 percent, compared to 3.82 percent in the same period last year.
Amid the complicated developments of the pandemic, PM Chinh affirmed that Vietnam does not choose the easy responding measures that may affect people's lives and socio-economic development. The country only applies lockdown measures in pandemic-hit areas and social distancing in high-risk areas, ensuring the maintenance of normal activities. Meanwhile, vaccination is considered a long-term, decisive and strategic solution to overcome the pandemic, he said.
According to the PM, as an open economy, Vietnam cannot close its door for a long time, and the risk of COVID-19 penetrating from the outside cannot be absolutely prevented. Therefore, the success of the vaccination scheme will be of great significance and the most effective solution to deal with the pandemic and reach herd immunity, paving the way for Vietnam to catch up with the development trend in the world.
Currently, Vietnam is working hard to speed up the vaccination scheme towards the target of reaching herd immunity in late 2021 or early 2022. Along with the vaccination efforts, Vietnam will also strive to complete the growth target of 6.5 percent set for this year.
Country Director of the Asian Development Bank in Vietnam Andrew Jeffries held that Vietnam has sufficient conditions to realise the dual target of preventing the pandemic and boosting economic growth at the same time.
Meanwhile, economist Dinh Trong Thinh from the Academy of Finance asserted that in the rest of the year, Vietnam's import-export activities will benefit from higher demand in the world, which will boost the country's growth.
However, experts held that in order to reach the target of 6.5 percent this year, Vietnam will have to overcome great challenges from the slow disbursement of public investment due to COVID-19 impacts and a surge in prices of input materials.
In order to boost production and business expansion in the rest of the year, the Ministry of Planning and Investment has proposed to the Government a number of policies to support COVID-19-hit enterprises, including the expansion of groups of beneficiaries from interest rate cut to enterprises in aviation, tourism, hospitality, transport sectors, along with the reduction of loan interest rates by 3-5 percent and the restructuring of debts as well as the maintenance of debt group classification and creating new loans.
As part of efforts to implement the directions of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs has finalised a draft resolution on policies to support employers and employees meeting difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the total aid worth more than 27.3 trillion VND (nearly 1.2 billion USD).
At the same time, the Ministry of Finance on June 24 also issued a circular on the continued cutting of 29 types of fees as applied in 2020 and the first half of 2021, as well as additional one type of fee in agriculture.
In terms of capital, Deputy Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam Dao Minh Tu said that the bank will direct the credit system to focus on production and closely control the credit for risky areas. The bank will continue to apply measures to remove difficulties in bank credit access, thus creating favourable conditions for enterprises and people in borrowing loans from banks, he added./.
Over $970 million poured into IPs in Quang Ninh
Industrial parks (IPs) and economic zones in the northern province of Quang Ninh have so far attracted more than VND22.4 trillion (US$970 million) in the first six months of 2021.
Quang Ninh has granted new investment licences to five foreign-invested projects worth $567.5 million, and four domestic projects valued at VND8.6 trillion.
Meanwhile, VND425 billion were pumped into two existing FDI projects in the locality, including a photovoltaic cell technology project invested by Jinko Solar Technology Ltd of Hong Kong in the Song Khoai Industrial Park.
The project is in line with the goal of developing Quang Ninh into a modern industrial and service locality and one of the dynamic and comprehensive development centres in the northern region.
As scheduled, the project will officially become operational in late October this year. It is expected to earn nearly $1.3 billion in annual revenue and create more than 2,000 jobs.
Other outstanding projects include a factory manufacturing household appliances, electric bicycles by Multi-Sunny Vietnam Co ($10 million), Lioncore Vietnam factory by Lioncore Vietnam Industry Co ($30 million), Haiyun Vietnam project of Hai Van Co ($10 million), and a project of Jingsung Hitec Vina Co (over $13 million).
The locality has planned to co-ordinate with DEEP C Joint Stock Company to co-host an investment promotion conference themed “Coastal economic zones – Sustainable investment opportunities in Quang Ninh” in HCM City.
An investment promotion conference in pharmaceutical industry and other promotion activities are expected to be held in the year, as part of Quang Ninh's efforts to attract more investment to the locality.
The local authorities have also paid attention to accelerating infrastructure development in IPs and economic zones in a comprehensive and modern direction, promoting administrative reform, and training high-quality workforce serving the demand in IPs and economic zones.
Quang Ninh will focus on developing green, clean and environment friendly industries, and increase the proportion of processing, manufacturing, high-tech and smart industries in the 2020-25 period.
It will also set aside VND58.7 trillion ($2.53 billion) to develop modern and synchronous infrastructure during 2021-25 to lure more investment.
Priority will be given to investment in strategic infrastructures such as transport, IT and telecommunications, as well as infrastructure in industrial parks, seaports, and port services.
During 2016-2021, the province disbursed more than VND49 trillion in public capital. Total social investment in the period was estimated at nearly VND345 trillion, or 1.6 times higher than the figure recorded during 2011-15.
The gross regional domestic product (GRDP) growth of Quang Ninh was estimated at 10.05 per cent in 2020 despite the adverse impact of COVID-19.
The province's State budget collection is projected at VND49.3 trillion ($2.13 billion), surpassing the year's target by 9.4 per cent and up nearly 7 per cent compared to the same period of 2019.
Budget collection from export-import activities surged by 29 per cent against the estimates, while domestic collection fulfilled the set target with VND37 trillion, rising 7 per cent.
Disbursement of public investment hoped to reach 95-100 pct of 2021 plan
The disbursement rate of public investment capital in 2021 is expected to reach between 95-100 percent of the plan assigned by the Prime Minister, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
As planned, the disbursement of public investment will reach at least 60 percent of the plan by the end of the third quarter of the year.
Latest statistics released by the General Statistics Office (GSO) show that total social investment in the first six months of 2021 increased 7.2 percent year-on-year to 1,170 trillion VND.
Of the figure, over 295.2 trillion VND was sourced from the state sector, up 7.3 percent; 660.1 trillion VND came from the non-state sector, rising by 7.4 percent; and 214.4 trillion VND was from the foreign direct investment sector, up 6.7 percent.
GSO General Director Nguyen Thi Huong attributed the active results to solutions to promote the disbursement of public investment capital and effective support policies of the State for the business community, as well as the shifting of FDI inflows into Vietnam as the COVID-19 pandemic is gradually kept under control.
To realise the plan, the Government requested ministries, sectors and localities to focus on reviewing the allocation of capital for projects in line with the implementation progress, speeding up land clearance, promptly removing difficulties related to land and natural resources facing enterprises, and accelerating construction of projects./.
Ninh Thuan develops more grape varieties for making wine
The south central province of Ninh Thuan is speeding up research into and creation of new grape varieties, especially for making wine, with high yields and quality.
The county's largest grape producing province has favourable weather and soil for growing grapes, and has more than 1,200ha under the fruit and an annual output of 30,000 tonnes. Most of the varieties are table grapes.
Farmers in the province grow mostly two table grape varieties – Red cardinal and NH 01 – 48, with the former accounting for 80 percent of the province's grape growing area.
Though demand for producing wine in the province and neighbouring provinces is high, wine grape varieties account for only a small area.
To meet the demand for wine grapes, the province People's Committee has instructed the Nha Ho Research Institute for Cotton and Agriculture Development to preserve a gene database of 143 grape varieties.
From the database the institute has selected many high-yield and -quality wine grape varieties that can grow well in the province and cultivates them.
Phan Cong Kien, deputy head of the institute, said: "The institute has transferred three types of wine grape varieties for cultivating on a commercial purpose so far, " referring to NH02 – 90 and NH02-97 for producing red wine and NH02-37 for producing white wine.
NH02 – 90, Syrah grape has been recognised for commercial cultivation by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
It is highly resistant to diseases, adapts to dry and hot weather, has an average yield of 12 – 16 tonnes per hectare per crop, and is appropriate for making wine.
The other two are in the process of completing procedures for recognition under the Cultivation Law for commercial cultivation.
Kien said the three could be grown in many soil types. "The institute is also growing on a pilot basis other wine grape varieties like NH02- 66, NH02 – 137 and NH02-145."
Dang Kim Cuong, Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said to increase the value of grapes his agency would continue to work with research institutes and agencies to create new varieties, including table and wine grapes resistant to pests and have high yield and quality.
Besides producing table grapes, the province is focusing on research into making other products from the fruit, he added.
The department is working with localities to create plans and zoning areas for growing wine grapes to ensure steady supply.
It is also mobilising investments and creating conditions for farmers to sign contracts with companies and co-operatives to grow grapes and produce wine under value chains./.
Vietnam health-check small enterprises for support policies
The General Statistics Office is inspecting the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the operation of some five million small-scale enterprises nationwide in order to draft suitable support policies.
Nguyen Trung Tien, deputy head of the General Statistics Office, said, “We’ll collect information from firms and co-operatives, associations, household businesses, about their business situation, digital economy, and specific products of industries and localities. Based on these results, we’ll assess the economy and develop suitable development plans and support policies.”
The economic census has been started at the start of July and will last the whole month.
In the first half of this year, over 70,200 enterprises had to suspend businesses or went bankrupt due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s estimated that over 11,700 firms closed or suspended business every month. The fourth Covid-19 wave in Vietnam dealt a heavy blow to enterprises. After one and a half years of the pandemic, many firms were unable to maintain business.
This is the second phase of the census. The first phase was carried out in March.
Ha Minh Hai, head of the Census Steering Committee in Hanoi, said this year, technology has been applied widely to collect information. The initial results will be announced in December and detailed reports will be announced in February 2022.
Lào Cai serves more than 1.1 million tourists in the first half-year
More than one million tourists have visited Lào Cai Province this year, an increase of 21 per cent compared to the same period in 2020.
The figures were announced by Lào Cai’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism (DCST).
The rise in visitors was seen despite the increasing complications of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The provincial tourism sector has fulfilled 22 per cent of its yearly plan.
Total tourism revenue is estimated at more than VNĐ3,400 billion (US$148 million) equal to 21 per cent of the yearly plan and up 3 per cent over the same period last year, the department said.
Hà Văn Thắng, director of the provincial DCST, said despite effects from COVID-19, key tourist spots in the province still attracted visitors such as Sa Pa, Lào Cai City, Bắc Hà, and Bát Xát.
The number of visitors who arrived and stayed in Sa Pa reached 552,000 while about 520,000 tourists visited Lào Cai City.
Bắc Hà and Bát Xát tourist sites served 92,000 and 21,000 visitors, respectively.
The official revealed most of the tourists are domestic, not abroad due to impacts of the pandemic which has resulted in the closure of borders.
He said from now until the end of the year, the tourism and culture sector will continue to upgrade and renew existing products as well as research and develop new ones.
At the same time, the province will build spiritual tours connecting Bảo Hà and Thượng temples with others spiritual architectural complexes on top of the Fansipan Mountain and develop a programme promoting brocade culture and flowers in the province in 2021.
It will also focus on providing tourism products associated with adventurous sports such as boat racing and waterfall crossing, continue to innovate ways of organising tourism promotion events with the application and exploitation of digital, high technology, internet, and social networking platforms.
Currently, visitors can find information about Lào Cai on some fanpages, and websites, such as the sapa-tourism.com, dulichtaybac.vn and dulichlaocai.vn.
The sector is mobilising all forces to be ready for a surge when the COVID-19 pandemic is controlled, according to the DCST.
The northern province of Lao Cai, home to the popular holiday town of Sa Pa, has set a target of welcoming 5 million visitors this year bringing in more than VNĐ16 trillion (US$696.17 million) in tourism revenue.
To realise the target, it will bolster digital transformation in the sector and restructure the market and tourism products in keeping with conserving the local cultural identity.
The province is exerting efforts to attract more domestic holidaymakers.
Sa Pa has long been among the country's leading destinations. Of note, young people accounted for more than 70 per cent of tourist arrivals to the town in 2020, according to Lê Anh Đại, vice chairman of Lào Cai Tourism Association.
The province also aims to devise 130 new tourism products to meet demands of tourists and encourage them to return in the future.
It has been one of the pioneering localities in digital transformation in tourism. Local authorities teamed up with Việt Nam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) to roll out a customised smart eco-tourism, which is accessible at laocaitourism.vn and on a mobile app.
The portal has had more than 1 million visits since its launch.
In April, Lào Cai issued a plan to stimulate tourism demand themed “Flavour of Lào Cai” in 2021 to revitalise the tourism industry and prepare conditions to welcome visitors after the pandemic is controlled.
Due to the impact of the COVID-19, the number of visitors to the province was estimated at about 2.3 million in 2020, a decrease of 55 per cent compared to 2019.
The figure continued to decrease by 54 per cent during the Tết (Lunar New Year) compared to the same period last year, according to a report published on the laocaitourism.vn, the DCST’s website.
The report revealed preliminary statistics showing about 15-20 per cent of accommodation establishments had to close, the remaining only have guests on weekends and holidays, with an average capacity is 20-30 per cent.
More than 3,000 workers in the tourism sector lost their jobs. International travel businesses completely had to halt their services for foreign guests.
The 2021 plan “Flavours of Lao Cai” was set up with a series of activities aiming to boost tourism, create a spillover effect, stimulate demand and attract a large number of tourists to the province.
Programmes and events have been launched including free entrance to tourist attractions such as Mount Hàm Rồng, Bạc (Silver) Waterfall, Sín Chải, Tả Phìn Village, Mường Hoa Valley, and Fansipan Mountain climbing.
HCM City moves to reopen markets, supermarkets to prevent food prices from rising
In order to stabilise food prices, HCM City authorities are considering how to reopen traditional markets, supermarkets and food stores while ensuring prevention and control of COVID-19 epidemic.
Nineteen cases were detected at the Hoc Mon Market and more were contacts traced in other places, and as a result the district People's Committee suspended delivery of goods to the place between June 28 and July 4.
The closure of traditional markets, transportation difficulties and lack of supply have caused prices of vegetables at the traditional markets and food stores that are still open to increase by 20-30 per cent and seafood by 10-15 per cent.
Cucumber has quadrupled to VND40,000 per kilogramme and squash has increased from VND30,000 a bunch to VND40,000.
Other vegetables have seen prices increase by VND5,000-15,000.
Shrimp prices are up from VND320,000 per kilogramme to VND370,000, cobia from VND280,000 to VND310,000 and red tilapia from VND60,000 to VND90,000.
Squid and octopus have increased by VND20,000-VND50,000 depending on the variety.
Nguyen Thi Hoa, the owner of a vegetable stall on Pham Van Chieu Street in Go Vap District, said: “Less vegetables than usual arrived at wholesale markets in the last few days. Meanwhile, demand is increasing, causing prices to increase in the last few days.”
To prevent a disruption in the supply of goods, especially food and foodstuffs, the city Department of Industry and Trade has instructed modern retail outlets and firms participating in the city price stabilisation programme to increase supply to compensate for the temporary closure of the market.
The department and other related authorities have promised to keep a close eye on the market to ensure adequate supply and come up with measures to deliver goods to traditional markets or organise wholesale points for traders at traditional markets.
They will strengthen mobile sales to ensure adequate supply of essential food products to fully meet the city's needs.
The department has worked with businesses and districts to ensure shops do not suddenly increase prices.
Besides, the closure of supermarkets, food stores and traditional markets has been shortened to ensure supply and stabilise prices while also ensuring safety.
In face of the situation, on July 2 around 10 supermarkets and food stores reopened.
A spokesperson for MM Mega Market An Phu said the supermarket reopened on July 2 soon after the people’s committee of An Phu Ward in Thu Duc City announced the end of the lockdown.
An AEON Vietnam spokesperson also said the supermarket had been allowed to reopen by the People’s Committee of Tan Phu District, which closed it for five days after a COVID-positive person was found inside.
Of the 234 traditional markets in the city, 93 have closed for authorities to evaluate their safety status.
PM asks central bank to study cryptocurrency, carry out pilot implementation
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has asked the State Bank of Viet Nam to study and carry out pilot implementation for cryptocurrency based on blockchain technology in the 2021-23 period.
This was highlighted in the Prime Minister's Decision No 942/QD-TTg about the e-Government development strategy towards a digital Government.
Cryptocurrency based on blockchain is among core technologies Viet Nam hopes to develop and master, as well as artificial intelligence (AI), big data, augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR), which were expected to create significant breakthroughs as well as favourable conditions for building a digital Government.
There were no specific definitions for cryptocurrency and virtual assets in Viet Nam. For many years, the State Bank had stressed that cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, were not legally recognised in Viet Nam and the use of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment was also not legally recognised and protected in the country.
The central bank asked credit institutions not to use cryptocurrencies as a type of currency or a means of payment.
To date, the central bank has not granted licences for any cryptocurrency trading platforms.
The Ministry of Finance set up a group to study virtual assets and cryptocurrencies under Decision No 664/QD-BTC dated April 24, 2020 to propose policies and management mechanisms.
According to Huynh Phuoc Nghia, deputy director of the Institute of Innovation under the University of Economics HCM City, it's time for the Government to study and carry out pilot implementation for cryptocurrency. "Digital money is an inevitable trend."
Currently, traditional currencies, including the US dollar, euro and yen, had greater influence on the world currency basket and international trade. However, in the race to develop and apply new technologies, there was chance for countries like Viet Nam to rise and have a new influence on the global financial system.
The pilot implementation would help the Government find positive and negative aspects, if any, while developing a more appropriate management mechanism, Nghia said, adding that while cashless payments were increasing in Viet Nam, the recognition of digital currencies by the central bank would help accelerate this process.
The study of cryptocurrency needed to be accelerated to gain advantages in the race, Le Dat Chi, deputy head of the university's Finance Faculty, said. He cited a survey which found that central banks around the world were having three different responses to cryptocurrency. The first group, which included 65-68 central banks, were piloting cryptocurrency use; the second was starting to develop a plan for pilot implementation; and the third group were still observing. Viet Nam was moving from the third group to the second group.
However, there were risks to financial and monetary security, Chi said.
Nguyen Hoa Binh, chairman of NextTech Group, said that it was necessary to have an official definition for cryptocurrency.
There were different words which might cause confusion, including virtual currency, digital currency, cryptocurrrency, electronic money and digital money.
HCM City stock market remains strong, momentum to return with system upgrade
The Ho Chi Minh City stock market maintained its strong growth momentum last month.
The benchmark VN Index closed the month at 1,408.55 points, up 6.06 per cent for June and 27.6 per cent in the year to date.
Some sectors saw even sharper growth: real estate (VNENE) was up 9.03 per cent, utilities (VNUTI) gained 8.56 per cent and consumer goods (VNCONS) rose by 6.3 per cent.
Besides, liquidity continued to rise, with average trading value and volumes per session jumping to over VND 23.68 trillion (US$1.03 billion) and 735.16 million shares, an increase of 7.94 per cent and 4.73 per cent over May.
In the first half of the year trading value and volume per session were VND19.64 trillion ($853.74 million) and 704.06 million shares, 198.44 per cent and 106 per cent up from 2020.
On June 4 liquidity reached a record VND30.73 trillion ($1.33 billion).
Liquidity is forecast to surge once a new trading system created by FPT Corporation takes over on July 5 to help cope with the burgeoning volumes that had the old system struggling.
The system will have a capacity of 3 – 5 million transactions a day, three times higher than the old one. It also has a mechanism to allocate orders to securities firms to avoid congestion.
It is expected to remove one of the biggest hurdles to the market’s momentum, strengthening the uptrend.
In the last six months a surge in orders, which went well above the limit of 900,000 a day, has been causing frequent crashes, causing frustration among investors.
Retailers overwhelmed by surge in online orders for essential items
The unprecedented volume of online orders at major grocers and supermarket chains in Ho Chi Minh City due to the public's concern over COVID-19 has resulted in cancellations and long delays in delivery.
"I called the supermarket's customer hotline for online ordering early in the morning and received a reply … at noon they were out of stock," said Tran Thi Mai, who lives in Binh Khanh Apartment in Thu Duc City.
Many major grocery stores and supermarkets near her apartment were temporarily closed due to local cases of infection, making stores that were open more crowded, she said.
As it was impossible to order online, she had to shop for groceries at noon to avoid crowds, she said.
Nguyen Thi Thanh Thao of District 11 ordered fresh vegetables, fruits and food online from a supermarket near her house, and was told they would be delivered only the next day.
Retailers said they were racing to add online shopping and ramping up staff for home delivery services amidst the continuing lockdown and strict social distancing requirements, but admitted it was still a tall order since there was a 300%-600% spike in online shopping.
The sales director of an e-commerce platform said the pandemic had accelerated the shift in retailing from offline to online.
Fast delivery within two to four hours was a vital part of online orders for groceries and fresh vegetables, fruits and food, but the boom in online grocery was precluding that, he said.
In HCM City, traditional markets account for 60%-70% of retail sales of agricultural produce, food and foodstuffs consumed.
Ninety-three out of its 234 traditional markets are temporarily closed to combat the outbreak.
The city's Department of Industry and Trade said the volume of goods delivered to the three wholesale markets still open in the city was less than 4,600 tonnes on July 1, 11 percent down from normal.
The prices of vegetables, fruits and seafood sold at traditional markets like Thi Nghe and Ba Chieu markets in Binh Thanh District and Tan Dinh market in District 1 rose by 5%-25% compared to a week earlier.
Vietnam Airlines, SeABank sign VND2-trillion credit contract
The Vietnam Airlines Corporation and the Southeast Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SeABank) have signed a credit contract worth VND2 trillion (US$87.24 million), part of which will be disbursed by the bank in early July.
The credit package aims to help Vietnam Airlines maintain production and business activities amid difficulties due to COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, Vietnam Airlines, SeABank and BRG Group have also signed an agreement on strategic partnership for common development in many areas and giving better experiences to customers.
Chairman of Vietnam Airlines Dang Ngoc Hoa said that the BRG Group and SeABank are large-scale organisations with strong financial capacity that are serving dozens of millions of customers at home and around the world.
The partnership will make BRG and SeABank large partners of Vietnam Airlines in many areas, he said, adding that the soft loan will help Vietnam Airlines settle difficulties posed by COVID-19, recovering its operations and contributing to the country's socio-economic development.
SeABank General Director Le Thu Thuy said that the strategic partnership among SeABank, BRG and Vietnam Airlines will create chances for customers to benefit from optimal services thanks to the combination of leading firms in aviation, hotel-resort, retail, and banking finance.
Disbursement of public investment hoped to reach 95%-100% of 2021 plan
The disbursement rate of public investment capital in 2021 is expected to reach between 95%-100% of the plan assigned by the Prime Minister, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
As planned, the disbursement of public investment will reach at least 60% of the plan by the end of the third quarter of the year.
Latest statistics released by the General Statistics Office (GSO) show that total social investment in the first six months of 2021 increased 7.2% year-on-year to VND1,170 trillion.
Of the figure, over VND295.2 trillion was sourced from the state sector, up 7.3%; VND660.1 trillion came from the non-state sector, rising by 7.4%; and VND214.4 trillion was from the foreign direct investment sector, up 6.7%.
GSO General Director Nguyen Thi Huong attributed the active results to solutions to promote the disbursement of public investment capital and effective support policies of the State for the business community, as well as the shifting of FDI inflows into Vietnam as the COVID-19 pandemic is gradually kept under control.
To realise the plan, the Government requested ministries, sectors and localities to focus on reviewing the allocation of capital for projects in line with the implementation progress, speeding up land clearance, promptly removing difficulties related to land and natural resources facing enterprises, and accelerating construction of projects.
US investors enticed by unique market
Vietnam has been receiving a capital influx from US investors targeting the rising affluent classes, tech-enabled businesses, and flourishing manufacturing industry.
Last week, US-based Society Pass (SoPa) announced its acquisition of Leflair LLC from a company in Hong Kong to revive the brand in Vietnam in the third quarter. The deal could help SoPa venture into the country's lucrative high-end consumer segment.
SoPa is an e-commerce startup connecting consumers with suppliers in Southeast and South Asia. In Vietnam, SoPa runs its e-commerce platform for food and beverages, and is a supplier of point-of-sale and marketing solutions connected with users' data management.
Founded in 2015, Leflair provided luxury fashion brands and beauty products at steep discounts. Since its launch, Leflair has raised millions of US dollars from angel investors and venture capital funds from the United States, France, Italy, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea, and Cambodia. However, in February 2020 Leflair suspended its local operations, blaming "changes in the investment landscape for startups" that caused operational inefficiencies.
The revival of Leflair is a testament to the attractiveness of Vietnam's high-end fashion market to US investors. Vietnam could have up to 50 ultra-high-net-worth individuals with a net worth of at least US$30 million each and over 25,000 high-net-worth individuals with assets of at least US$1 million each by 2025, according to the 2021 Wealth Report by Knight Frank.
US private equity giant KKR has also placed bets on the Vietnamese market by injecting capital into EQuest Education Group, a leading educational services provider, and Vinhomes, the country's largest real estate developer. Since 2011, KKR has invested more than US$1 billion of equity in leading Vietnamese businesses including Masan MEATLife and Masan Consumer, Vietnam's largest local-branded packaged food company and a subsidiary of Masan Group.
Venture capital fund Goodwater Capital and others invested US$100 million in a series D round in e-wallet app MoMo in January. Goodwater Capital also joined a US$3-million seed funding round in Vietnamese on-demand payroll startup Nano Technologies in May.
Eric Kim, co-founder and managing partner at Goodwater Capital said, "Vietnam is a very unique market with a very rapidly growing middle class and increasing smartphone penetration. We see Vietnam a core market in Southeast Asia."
Likewise, two partners at the US venture capital fund 500 Startups have founded Ascend Vietnam Ventures, focusing on investing in seed-stage companies in Vietnam.
The early-stage investments will range from US$500,000 to US$2 million for tech startups in sectors like finance, education, healthcare, productivity, and future of work over three years. A third of those companies will receive further investment of up to US$4 million each.
US investors are not only eyeing the fast-growing startups in Vietnam but also stepping up manufacturing activities. As of May 20, the US was Vietnam's 11th-largest investor with the total registered capital of US$9.54 billion across nearly 9,100 projects, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
Many multinational US corporations such as Pfizer, Abbott Laboratories, Intel, Qualcomm, and Procter & Gamble are also seeing success and opportunity in Vietnam. Many of these multinationals have established local manufacturing operations and even invested in Vietnam-based companies to leverage local manufacturing and supply chain infrastructure.
In May, Procter & Gamble Indochina Ltd. was greenlit by Binh Duong People's Committee to invest US$44.8 million into its razor plant in Dong An Industrial Zone. After adjustment, the total investment capital of the project in the province reached US$247.8 million.
In January, Intel Corporation made an additional investment of US$475 million in Intel Products Vietnam (IPV) in Saigon Hi-Tech Park, which took Intel's total in Vietnam to US$1.5 billion. IPV is the largest assembly and test manufacturing facility in the Intel assembly and test network, and one of 10 manufacturing sites that Intel boasts globally. IPV also remains the largest US high-tech investment in Vietnam so far.
Meanwhile, Millennium Energy Corporation has proposed to develop a liquefied natural gas (LNG) centre and terminal warehouse in the southern area of Van Phong Economic Zone in the central province of Khanh Hoa, with the combined investment capital of over US$27 billion. The American group also has been in talks with the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang to build another LNG project at a total of US$15 billion in the province.
DOC may extend anti-dumping duty on PE bags from Vietnam
The US Department of Commerce (DOC) is likely to continue applying anti-dumping duties on polyethylene (PE) retail carrier bags imported from Vietnam and some other countries, according to the Trade Remedies Authority under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).
The department said, the DOC has issued its final conclusion in the case of the final review of applying anti-dumping duties on PE bags imported from Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Taiwan (China) and Thailand.
In this conclusion, the DOC held that the removal of anti-dumping duties will lead to the possibility of continued or repeated product dumping.
Therefore, it proposed to extend the application of the anti-dumping duty rate for PE bags imported from Vietnam at 76.11%.
The DOC initiated an anti-dumping investigation against PE bags imported from Vietnam in 2009, and imposed anti-dumping duty on this product at the rate of 76.11% in 2010 for a five-year period. The imposition was extended once in 2016.
However, the DOC’s conclusion only provided the dumping margin and proposed tax rates for imported goods. On the basis of the DOC’s conclusion, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) will issue a final conclusion relating to the case. In the event that such damage is determined, an order to impose anti-dumping duties will be issued by the DOC.
The Trade Remedies Authority noted that new Vietnamese exporters need to contact the DOC before exporting to calculate their own anti-dumping tax rate, otherwise they will be subject to the nationwide anti-dumping tax rate.
Businesses can also contact the Authority for timely support, it added.
Fruit sector seeks to achieve Korean market penetration
A webinar aimed at promoting the export of fresh fruit and processed fruit products from the nation to distribution systems of the Republic of Korea (RoK) is set to take place between July 27 and July 29.
The event will be co-hosted by the Asia-Africa Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Korea Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA).
The purpose of the function is to boost key farm produce exports from the country, with a specific focus on fresh and processed fruits to the RoK, whilst providing Vietnamese exporters with the opportunity to continue establishing links with potential Korean partners.
During the course of the seminar, firms will have the chance to introduce the real situation regarding the export of fresh fruit and processed fruit products from the nation to the Korean market. In addition, issues typically faced by enterprises, along with recommendations and instructions on how to bring fresh fruit and processed fruit products from the nation to Korean distribution systems, will also be touched upon at the event.
Most notably, Vietnamese exporters will be able to directly connect with fresh fruit importers and major Korean distribution systems within the framework of the occasion.
The Korean market boasts a large import volume of fresh fruits, valued at more than US$1.6 billion annually, whilst it continues to enjoy significant growth each year.
However, fresh Vietnamese fruits only make up a very modest market share in this highly lucrative market, with only six types of fresh Vietnamese fruits officially exported to the market, including coconut, pineapple, white flesh dragon fruit, red flesh dragon fruit, mango, and banana.
At present, the Ministry of Industry and Trade is working closely with relevant ministries from both nations to urge the Korean side to open the market for further Vietnamese fruits, such as grapefruit, passion fruit, lychees, rambutan, and longan.
The webinar is also considered to be a great opportunity for local businesses to look back on their various achievements, whilst comprehensively assessing the opportunities and challenges in terms of exporting fresh and processed fruits to the RoK market. This will help them to promptly remove obstacles so as to further promote the export of these items to the potential market in the near future.
Hanoi tightens monitoring at shopping centres
Authorities in Hanoi have requested shopping centres to limit the number of visitors for Covid-19 prevention.
An inspection team led by the Vice-Chairman of Hanoi People’s Committee Chu Xuan Dung inspected various shopping centres and restaurants including the Aeon Mall and Highlands Coffee at Hanoi Opera House on July 4 after social distancing rules were eased.
At Aeon Mall in Long Bien, the team checked how the preventive measures were carried out such as making sure visitors wore face masks and that visitors had their body temperatures taken. Aeon Mall managers said they limited the number of shoppers.
Long Bien District People’s Committee also sends more employees to shopping centres to ensure the regulations are followed and violations are dealt with, especially during the weekends. District and communal authorities were asked to carry out more inspections at restaurants.
“The number of visitors during the weekends is high so the locality authorities must monitor the number of visitors so that shopping centres and restaurants only operate at half of their capacity. QR codes should be set up at the entrance for medical e-declaration,” Dung said at his visit to the Aeon Mall in Ha Dong.
Dung continued to urge local authorities to monitor and control the number of visitors at shopping centres and restaurants, making sure that restaurants are closed by 9 pm.
“While the majority of the community hasn’t been vaccinated yet, everyone must follow the regulations to protect themselves and other people,” he said.
Source: VNA/VNS/VOV/VIR/SGT/Nhan Dan/Hanoitimes
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