MBC welcomes our New Corporate Members “CHIN WELL FASTENERS (VIETNAM) CO., LTD”,” GAMUDA LAND (HCMC) JOINT STOCK COMPANY”,” HAWE INDUSTRIAL CONSTRUCTION JOINT STOCK COMPANY”, ” PANPAGES VIETNAM LTD”,” TUAN LE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY LIMITED” and ” ZICOLAW (VIET NAM) LTD”---MBC welcomes our New Individual Members “ALAN NG AIK HOW from TAN VIET XUAN PRODUCTION JOINT STOCK COMPANY “, “GAN YEE CHUN from SAMTEC VIETNAM COMPANY LIMITED “, “GARY LIT from GL TRAINING & CONSULTANCY”,” GOH SHUI HSIN from HEXACHEM CO., LTD”, “GRATIA GADING GEORGE from KRETOP INTERNATIONAL CONSTRUCTION CHEMICAL”, “HOW YEN LING from GLOBAL TRAINING NETWORK ALLIANCES SDN BHD”, “LENG TZE SING from CT TNHH MOC CAPITAL VIETNAM”,” LIM HOCK SIN from FURNITECH COMPONENTS VIET NAM CO., LTD”, “MARTIN WONG SIEW BING from SOUTHEAST ASIA TELECOMMUNICATIONS HOLDINGS PTE.LTD “,”MICHEL KHAOU from AGILITY CO., LTD “, “PETER LIM WEI HENG from TEXCHEM MATERIALS (VIET NAM) CO., LTD “, “ROGER YAP WENG FOOK from CONG TY TNHH MOLUTION”, “TAN JING KUAN from NORD ANGLIA EDUCATION GROUP”,” TAN LAI SEE from ABS ENGINEERING VIET NAM LIMITED”, “TAY KENG CHONG from NIRO CERAMIC VIETNAM”, “TEO SECK CHUAN from SEAMASTER PAINT VIETNAM CO.,LTD”,” TEOH TEAN TIAR from GTC VIETNAM SERVICE AND TRADE COMPANY LIMITED”.

Malaysia Business Chamber Vietnam


Block G, Unit 0215, The Manor 2, 91 Nguyen Huu canh, Binh Thanh District, HCMC  Tel:(84-28) 6258 6316
Vietnam News



Sources from "Saigon Times" Vietnam

 



Sources from "Thanhnien" Vietnam

 

 

HEADLINES

 

FINANCE

CREDIT FLOW GOES AS PLANNED

REFERENCE EXCHANGE RATE GOES DOWN BY 1 VND

 

ECONOMY

EXPERTS: 6.7PCT GROWTH TARGET PROVES TOUGH

EAEU-VIETNAM FREE TRADE AREA AND OPPORTUNITIES DISCUSSED IN RUSSIA

 

INVESTMENT

FOREIGN INVESTMENT SURGES BY OVER HALF IN JAN-JUN

RUSSIA, VIETNAM AGREE ON US$10 BILLION IN BILATERAL INVESTMENT

 

REAL ESTATE

CITY PROPERTY MARKET TO CHANGE

FDI INTO PROPERTY SECTOR CONTINUES RISING

 

OIL&GAS&ENERGY&MINING

VIETNAM TO CONTINUE FUEL IMPORT

VIETNAM’S POWER PRICES HIGH DUE TO MONOPOLY’S MULTI BILLION-DOLLAR DEBT: OFFICIAL

 

LEGAL

VIETNAM BANS NEW CARPOOLING SERVICES FROM UBER, GRAB

THE AUTHORITIES SAY SHARING A CAR WITH A STRANGER COMES WITH RISKS THAT PASSENGERS SHOULD NOT IGNORE.

 

SOURCE:

DR. OLIVER MASSMANN PHD

INTERNATIONAL ATTORNEY AT LAW
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL ACCOUNTANT AND AUDITOR
GENERAL DIRECTOR OF DUANE MORRIS LLC
PARTNER OF DUANE MORRIS LLP
MEMBER TO THE SUPERVISORY BOARD OF PETROVIETNAM INSURANCE HOLDINGS JOINT STOCK COMPANY 

 

 

FINANCE

 

Credit flow goes as planned

Nhip Cau Dau Tu

 

 

The Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) has recently released report about business results in the first five months of the year, highlighting the credit growth of 6.94 percent compared to the beginning of the year. Previously, the credit growth in Q1/2017 was 4.6 percent. Smaller banks also have similar credit growth rate. For example, at Tien Phong Joint Stock Commercial Bank (TPBank), the credit is estimated to increase by about 10 percent.

There have not had data for Q2/2017 but in Q1 alone, many commercial banks boosted credit growth such as Saigon Commercial Bank (SCB) with nine percent, Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) with 8.3 percent, Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank) with more than eight percent, and Bank for Industry and Trade (Vietinbank) with 5.6 percent. Since the beginning of the year, the credit growth developments have been different from the same period, rising sharply in Q1 (Lunar New Year) while normally increasingly slowly.

In general, most banks have actively promoted credit compared to the previous years. As per the data of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) in its report on banking activity in the first five months, as of May 25, credit rose 6.53 percent compared to the end of 2016, much higher than the five percent and 4.5 percent in the same period of 2016 and 2015 respectively.

That is not to mention, as per calculations of the National Financial Supervisory Commission (NFSC), the credit to GDP ratio has tended to increase continuously from Q4/2015 till now, and stood at 11 percent in Q1/2017. “This is the second highest level during 2009-2017, just behind the 13 percent in Q1/2011,” the report said. This index measures the difference between the credit to GDP ratio in the reporting period and the average in recent years. It is considered as one of the early crisis warning indicators recommended by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

What worries many is that the market may repeat mistakes in the past when credit went to non-priority sectors such as real estate or securities. This is reasonable when the VN Index has reached the highest level in the last eight years, or real estate has recently signalled of heating up. “There is a question of where the current investment flows are going, are they being used ineffectively and do not go to the right industries or sectors that can quickly generate growth?”, asked a deputy during the National Assembly session when credit rose but the GDP growth rate was low.

The concern over the direction of the credit flow has been paid much attention to by state management agencies over the last period. As explained by a representative of the State Bank, in the credit structure, real estate loans have slowed down compared to the previous year; credit focuses primarily on priority areas as per the direction of the State Bank. Specifically, the production and business of large, priority projects account for about 50 percent of the total outstanding loans; credit to rural and agricultural sector reckons for about 19 percent compared to about 22 percent to small and medium businesses.

As per SSI Securities Company, the elements of credit growth are worth discussing, in which the two sectors that the market concerns about the most are real estate and infrastructure. First and foremost are infrastructure projects, an area that banks have recently poured a lot of capital. In the near future when the low-cost investment such as ODA slows down, the capital disbursed from the budget is not as high as expected, many problems for BT, BOT or PPP (Public Private Partnership) projects appear, banks are considered as the “feeding bottle” of these projects. “For infrastructure loans, we think that the pressure on banks may prolong due to huge demand in the context of low concessional loans and the ineffectiveness of public-private cooperation,” SSI’s report said.

Infrastructure loans were warned by SBV since last year. Although no specific growth limit was issued, the regulator delivered a signal recommending banks to be cautious in this sector. As per data at a seminar in last September on the situation of infrastructure loans, as of June 30, 2016, the total credit committed to BOT and BT transport projects was nearly 160 trillion dong (total outstanding credit reached 83.611 trillion dong, up 12.43 percent from the end of 2015). The reason was because of the slow progress due to contractor capacity, slow site clearance, increase in total investment in projects, and difficulty in finding additional funding.

In the real estate sector, as per Nguyen Hoang Minh, deputy director of the State Bank, HCM City branch, as of the end of Q1/2017, real estate outstanding credit accounted for only 10.88 percent of the total, the credit growth was about 3.2 percent compared to the beginning of the year. This figure shows more cautiousness and stricter lending, said Minh.

However, one noteworthy point is that the real estate sector grew strongly in terms of personal loans. As per the data of the National Financial Supervisory Commission (NFSC), consumer loans in Q1/2017 were estimated to increase 29.7 percent compared to the end of 2016. Of which, home purchase and repair loans swelled about 38.4 percent compared to 2016, accounting for 52.8 percent of the total consumer credit, up from the 49.5 percent at the end of last year. The agency’s report also warns of a shift from real estate credit to consumer credit.

Another noteworthy point is that the agricultural loan sector also has new features. The latest update by the minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in the recent meeting of the National Assembly showed that eight commercial banks committed to pour about 120 trillion dong in high-tech agriculture, which has been promoted since the end of last year with the credit scale of about 30 trillion dong. There have been no more assessment by the authorities on the specific and effective destinations of these loans, but it is clear that there needs to wait for some more time.

Despite high credit growth this year, the State Bank still maintains its 18 percent growth target set last year. The regulators may still have certain cautiousness, though a National Assembly deputy voiced his support for more credit growth under low-growth GDP pressure.

 

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Reference exchange rate goes down by 1 VND

VNA

 

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) on June 29 adjusted its reference VND/USD exchange rate down by 1 VND from the previous day to 22,432 VND/USD.

With the current +/- 3 percent VND/USD trading band, the ceiling exchange rate is 23,104 VND per USD and the floor rate is 21,760 VND per USD.

At the opening hours, the exchange rate at major commercial banks was relatively stable.

Vietcombank kept the exchange rate unchanged at 22,705 VND (buying) and 22,775 VND (selling), per USD, as compared to the previous day.

BIDV reduced the rate by 5 VND to 22,705 VND (buying) and 22,775 (selling) per USD.

Vietinbank also kept the exchange rate unchanged, posting its buying rate at 22,695 VND and its selling rate at 22,775 VND per USD.

 

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ECONOMY

 

Experts: 6.7pct growth target proves tough

The Saigon Times

 

Local and international economic experts said on June 27 the country would find it hard to meet the gross domestic product (GDP) growth target of 6.7 percent this year as the first quarter saw modest growth.

According to the World Bank (WB), the economy of Vietnam may expand 6.3 percent at best this year. However, there are positive developments; low inflation is under control while the business environment, foreign exchange rates, credit, overseas remittances and the balance of payments have improved.

Speaking at the Vietnam Economic Forum 2017 organised in Hanoi on June 27 by the Central Party Committee’s Economic Commission, Nguyen Xuan Thanh, director of Campus Development at Fulbright University Vietnam (FUV), said the 5.1 percent growth in the first quarter was a surprise.

At the end of 2016, the economy was expected to perform better this year. Therefore, the government is facing huge pressure because GDP growth in the first two years of its current five-year tenure was lower than the final year of the previous term of the government, Thanh noted.

In late 2015, the government expected GDP growth of 6.7 percent in 2016 but the actual outcome was 6.21 percent. At the end of last year, the government stuck with its 6.7 percent target for 2017.

However, with 5.1 percent growth in the first three months of this year, the government must make effort to ensure that GDP will grow 7 percent in each of the remaining quarters. Policymakers, foreign and local experts have viewed the figure as too high to achieve, Thanh said.

According to him, this year’s GDP expansion is expected at 6.3-6.4 percent only. The slow restructuring of the banking system and State-owned enterprises, lower-than-expected public investments and high public debts are to blame for dampened GDP growth.

Stubbornly high bad debts at local banks are weighing on the economy, thus causing a big dent to GDP growth. Public investments are seen as an effective vehicle for bolstering economic growth but they are running dry. Therefore, the government should resort to capital from the equitisation of State-run enterprises and the divestment of State stakes at enterprises to maintain a high level of public investment in the short term without breaking the public debt limit, Thanh added.

However, deputy minister of Planning and Investment Dang Huy Dong told the forum that the government was confident in the 6.7 percent growth target.

Economic growth in the first half is estimated at 5.5-5.7 percent, almost equivalent to the level the prime minister assigned to industries. The government has seen initial positive factors which can help attain 6.7 percent growth in 2017, Dong said.

 

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EAEU-Vietnam Free Trade Area and opportunities discussed in Russia

VNA

 

A roundtable discussion on “The Free Trade Area between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and Vietnam: New Opportunities for Business” took place in Moscow on June 27, inspired by the upcoming visit of President Tran Dai Quang to Russia.

The event was organised by the Russian Chamber of Commerce, the Workshop for Eurasian Ideas Fund and the INGO “Business People”.

It was attended by more than 100 diplomats, policymakers, economists, analysts and experts in the field of Eurasian economic integration and representatives from authorities and commercial companies from Vietnam and Russia.

The roundtable discussed economic cooperation between Vietnam and Russia as well as Vietnam and the EAEU. Delegates proposed ways to solve problems, including new bilateral cooperation models, which can help bring up Vietnam-Russia trade to 10 billion USD by 2020.

Nearly 5,000 tariff lines to go down to zero under Vietnam-EAEU FTA

In his opening remarks, Chair of the expert council of the Workshop for Eurasian Ideas Grigory Trofimchuk said taking place ahead the of President Quang’s visit, the event has political significance and drives the development of cooperation between the two countries.

Chair of the Vietnamese Association in Russia Do Xuan Hoang outlined several barriers to bilateral investment, particularly in terms of tariff and administrative systems, but he believed these issues will be soon solved.

During the event, attendees said that Vietnam plays an important role in Russia’s “Look East” policy and in improving the economies of the EAEU and Russia. They expected Vietnam will act as a bridge for Russia to make inroads into Southeast Asia and Pacific Asia markets.

 

 

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INVESTMENT

 

Foreign investment surges by over half in Jan-Jun

The Saigon Times

 

Total fresh foreign investment approvals in the country in the year’s first half have soared 54.8 percent to over $19.2 billion, with Japan emerging as the biggest foreign investor, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

Updated data from the ministry shows 1,183 foreign direct investment projects worth $11.83 billion had got investment certificates in the year to June 20, rising 57.9 percent year-on-year. Active foreign investors had pumped $5.14 billion into 549 projects, up 35.8 percent against the year-earlier period.

Meanwhile, foreign investors had also spent $2.24 billion buying shares of domestic firms on the stock market, almost double the same period last year.

As such, the total foreign investment approvals, including fresh direct investments, additional funds injected into operational projects, and portfolio investments in the first half have amounted to $19.22 billion.

FDI projects so far this year have disbursed $7.72 billion, up 6.5 percent against the same period last year.

Japan takes first position

Capital committed by Japanese investors has amounted to $5.08 billion, accounting for 26.45 percent of the total $19.22 billion in the first half. This is the first time in as many years Japan has become the biggest foreign investor in Vietnam, having trailed behind South Korea as the latter boasted big-ticket projects by Samsung and LG in previous years.

The uptrend in Japanese investment in Vietnam is poised to continue following the successful Japan visit early this month by prime minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. During the visit, enterprises of the two countries struck many deals worth $22 billion, which will be implemented in the near future.

At an investment conference in Japan on June 5, PM Phuc and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe pledged to continue policies to support Japanese investors in Vietnam.

Japanese investors are also having a positive view on the business environment in Vietnam. Hiroyuki Ishige, chair of the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), has recently announced results of a survey of Japanese enterprises operating overseas in the fiscal year ending March 31.

According to the JETRO survey, Vietnam is seen as the third most important market for Japanese exporters behind China and the United States. This ranking is quite significant given the different sizes of the three economies.

However, the number of Japanese enterprises wanting to expand business in Vietnam has increased for the second consecutive year, from 32.4 percent in the previous survey to 34.1 percent in the latest survey. In this respect, Vietnam also ranks third among the most favourable destinations for Japanese investors.

 

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Russia, Vietnam agree on US$10 billion in bilateral investment

VNA

 

President Tran Dai Quang and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on June 29 (local time) expressed particular interest in strengthening commercial cooperation, agreeing on investing more than US$10 billion in both country.

At a joint press conference following talks between the two leaders in Moscow, the two leaders announced that the investment will be poured into 20 priority projects, including a joint Vietnamese-Russian oil and gas enterprise, the construction of a light industrial zone in Moscow and projects carried out by Vietnamese dairy group TH in some Russian localities.

Another US$500 million would be spent on projects with high potentials in new areas of bilateral cooperation like agriculture or medicinal herbs, the leaders said.

The two countries have also set an ambitious target of raising bilateral trade to US$10 billion by 2020.

Oil and gas will remain the top priority sector for cooperation between the two countries, Putin said.

Vietsovpetro, a Vietnam-Russia joint venture, accounts for a third of the crude oil extracted in Vietnam.

Putin said Russia is committed to providing Vietnam with LPG and other fuels. He also said Russian enterprises are ready to join in modernizing Vietnam’s power plants and help the country build new power plants.

The two leaders also agreed to coordinate closely with each other in implementing the Vietnam-Eurasia Economic Union (VN-EAEU) Free Trade Agreement in order to fully exploit its advantages for further cooperation in trade and investment.

The FTA, involving Vietnam, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, was signed in May 2015 and took effect on October 5 last year.

Vietnam and Russia are committed to creating favourable conditions for enterprises to step up trading, including signing agreements on food safety management and promoting payment in Vietnamese Dong and the Russian rouble, the leaders said.

Joint ventures to assemble and produce cars in Vietnam will soon be set up and cooperation stepped up in energy and infrastructure. The two sides will also consider the possibility for continuing cooperation in the use of nuclear power for peaceful purposes.

The two nations have also agreed to tighten coordination in humanitarian field. In 2019, the two countries will celebrate the 25th anniversary of a treaty on basic principles for the bilateral friendship, hence they will designate 2019 as the Year of Vietnam in Russia and vice versa.

On the East Sea (South China Sea) dispute, Quang and Putin agreed that any border or territorial dispute should be resolved by peaceful means without resorting to the threats or use of force, in accordance with international law, first of all the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS).

They agreed the Declaration of Conduct in the East Sea (DOC) should be implemented fully and effectively, and hoped that a Code of Conduct (COC) will soon be completed.

During their talks, President Putin affirmed that Vietnam will always be a priority partner for Russia in the Asia-Pacific region. He said he believes that Quang’s visit will provide fresh impetus to the development of the bilateral ties in the coming time.

President Quang reiterated that Vietnam has consistently prioritised strengthening of the comprehensive strategic partnership with Russia in order to promote further bilateral cooperation in all fields.

Vietnam appreciates Russia’s role and hopes Russia will continue making active contributions to the maintenance of peace, security and stability in the Asian-Pacific region, he said

The same day, the two leaders witnessed the signing ceremonies for several cooperation projects including the building a nuclear technology and science centre in Vietnam between the Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology and the Russian Rosatom Group, a cooperation agreement on anti-money laundering between the State Bank of Vietnam and the Financial Market Relations Regulation Centre, and another between the Vietnam News Agency and the Sputnik.

A memorandum on technical cooperation between the two State treasuries was also signed in the presence of the presidents, along with a 2017-2022 cooperation programme in aerospace technology between the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology and the Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities, and an agreement between the Vietnam Railways Corporation and the Russian Railways Open Joint Stock Company.

 

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REAL ESTATE

 

City property market to change

VNA

 

HCM City’s real estate market in the 2017-20 period will see major changes as supply and demand will gradually adjust, stabilising and strengthening the market, according to the city’s Real Estate Association.

In its latest report on the real estate market in the second half of 2017, the association said there would be a switch from high-end projects to mid- and low-end segments to meet demand from people with lower incomes.

The emphasis on the low- to mid-end market segment began early this year, the report said.

Thirty-two new housing projects were approved in the first half of the year with a total of 16,505 apartments. Of these, more than 68 per cent were in the mid- and low-end market.

“This is a good sign because developers are re-structuring their products to develop apartments with one or two bedrooms to meet the huge demand of people with lower incomes,” said Lê Hoàng Châu, chairman of the association.

The association said that in the last half of the year, co-operation among developers would be more common as the development trend continues.

Merger and acquisition activities are also expected to increase as the National Assembly’s resolution to reduce bad debt becomes effective in mid-August.

The market is expected to become more stable and transparent when new policies related to tax, credit, planning and administrative procedures become effective.

The association said that investment flows would come mostly from foreign investors and overseas remittances.

Châu said that in the first half of the year, 20 per cent of US$2.1 billion in overseas remittances was poured into real estate.

Nearly 13 per cent of foreign direct investment (FDI) was invested in the real estate market, equivalent to $50.3 million.

“FDI to the sector in the last six months of the year will surge because many contracts to develop property are under negotiation,” he said.

Châu said that infrastructure upgrades, including metro lines and rapid bus routes, would create advantageous conditions for companies to develop in the mid- and long-term.

Developers are expected to focus on projects friendly to the environment to meet the demand of consumers who want modern technologies, including the internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence, he added.

In the first half of this year, the city developed 1.92 million sq metres of housing.

During the period, the city continued to upgrade housing, and targeted rebuilding 50 per cent of 474 old apartment buildings until 2020.

As of the end of last year, the city had 13,220 real estate companies.

In the first half of the year, one-third of 18,000 new companies established in the city were real estate companies, with most of them providing real estate services.

 

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FDI into property sector continues rising

DTI News

 

The Vietnamese real estate sector has attracted a total foreign direct investment (FDI) of USD701 million in the first half of this year, up 16 percent on-year.

According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the property sector was the fifth most popular area for investment for FDI between January and June this year.

The ministry reported that, of the sum, USD461.7 million came from the 39 newly-licensed real estate projects, while the rest from the capital rise of existing projects.

By June 20 this year, Vietnam licensed 618 property projects valued at USD50.99 billion, just behind the manufacturing sector.

In the first six months of 2017, up to 2,279 real estate companies were licensed, up 68.3 percent against the same period of last year. Their total registered capital also increased by 42.2 percent on-year.

Experts said that foreign investors have shown greater interest in Vietnam’s property projects as the sector was forecast to be transparent and open. Particularly, the government has further simplified administrative procedures and tightened policies on land planning.

Meanwhile, mergers and acquisitions in the local real estate market are forecasted to jump in 2017 as foreign investors look for local partners, accelerated urbanisation and an expanding middle-class population with higher incomes.

 

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OIL&GAS&ENERGY&MINING

 

Vietnam to continue fuel import

SaigonTimes

 

Vietnam will continue importing fuels given an annual shortage of about 0.8 million tons of petrol and 1.8 million tons of diesel oil (DO) in the next five years.

According to a report issued June 26  by Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical Company (BSR), the operator of the US$3-billion Dung Quat Oil Refinery in Quang Ngai Province, the country is projected to consume 6.5 million tons of gasoline and 8.5 million tons of DO from 2018 to 2022.

Meanwhile, Dung Quat and another oil refinery, Nghi Son, can supply nearly six million tons of petrol and seven million tons of DO from 2018, representing 92% and 82% of domestic demand respectively.

The shortfall would be offset by fuel imports from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea and China.

Nghi Son Oil Refinery in Thanh Hoa Province will be put into operation next year with an annual processing capacity of 10 million tons of crude oil. It is expected to supply 8.8 million tons of fuels, including about 2.3 million tons of petrol and 3.7 million tons of DO, meeting 40% of local needs.

Condensate processing plants such as PVOIL Phu My, Saigon Petro, Nam Viet Oil and Dong Phuong have a combined annual capacity of 690,000 tons of gasoline.

Since its debut seven years ago, Dung Quat has sold over 47 million tons of fuels with total revenue amounting to more than US$36 billion and profit reaching over VND13 trillion (US$0.57 billion) by the end of the first quarter of 2017.

BSR has paid over US$7 billion in taxes to the State.

 

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Vietnam’s power prices high due to monopoly’s multi billion-dollar debt: official

VNExpress

 

Electricity of Vietnam owes $9.7 billion, and often blames losses for hiking prices.

State-run power monopoly Vietnam Electricity (EVN), the country’s biggest debtor, has been told to spend wisely and avoid allowing its outstanding loans to dictate electricity prices.

EVN has $9.7 billion in outstanding loans with a government guarantee that covers 37 percent of the total. Most of the loans are with foreign creditors, a government spokesperson said at a meeting on Thursday.

Deputy Minister of the Home Affairs Nguyen Trong Thua said the debt was “a heavy burden” on the company.

“The debt is reflected in electricity prices and definitely keeps them high,” Thua said.

The meeting was held to ask the country’s only power supplier to maintain a stable supply to help the economy accomplish its growth target of 6.7 percent this year.

Thua said EVN should use its money more effectively and find ways to cut costs.

For example, it could apply technology to take meter readings rather than sending workers to climb pilons every month to take the readings manually, he said.

EVN often claims losses when asking for permission to raise prices, and did so for the last increase of 7.5 percent to VND1,622 (7.7 U.S. cents) per kWh in March 2015.

Retail prices have been unchanged since then, but wholesale prices were raised 2-5 percent in May last year.

The company reported a profit in 2016 with revenue jumping 14 percent from the previous year, but said that increasing prices for oil and coal will raise its costs this year by VND4.2 trillion.

No price hikes have been discussed.

The trade ministry said at a press briefing earlier this year that the government will “carefully” consider any proposed price hikes because they could stand in the way of its economic growth target.

 

 

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New regulations to prevent conflicts of interest in corporate governance

VLLF

 

From August 1, members of the board of directors, supervisors, director or director general, and other managers of a public company will be required to make public their related interests as prescribed by law.

Such is provided in Government Decree No. 71 signed on June 6, providing corporate governance regulations applicable to public companies.

The Decree goes on to stipulate that such corporate executives and managers as well as their related persons may not use the information they acquire thanks to their positions for self-seeking purposes or for the interests of other organizations or individuals. They are also prohibited from using information not yet allowed to be disclosed or revealing such information to other persons for the latter to make related transactions.

Additionally, members of the board of directors, supervisors, director or director general, and other managers of a public company will be obliged to notify the board of directors and supervisory board of any transactions between them or their related persons and the company, a subsidiary of the company or a business in which the company holds more than 50 percent of charter capital.  

In case these transactions are subject to approval by the board of directors or general meeting of shareholders, resolutions approving such transactions must be disclosed by the public company in accordance with the law on disclosure of information in the securities market. However, members of public companies’ boards of directors may not vote on transactions which will bring about benefits for them or their related persons. 

The Decree also specifies that when making transactions with related persons, public companies will sign written contracts on the principle of equality and voluntariness. They will also have to take necessary measures to prevent related persons from interfering into their operations, causing damage to their interests or losses of capital, assets or other resources.

 

 

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Vietnam bans new carpooling services from Uber, Grab

VnExpress

 

The authorities say sharing a car with a stranger comes with risks that passengers should not ignore.

It's yet another bumpy ride for popular ride-hailing services Uber and Grab.

Their new carpool versions in Vietnam, UberPOOL and GrabShare, have been blocked by the Ministry of Transport, not long after their summer launch.

Low-cost services that allow drivers to pick up an extra person along the way will create risks for the passenger, the ministry said in a new statement. stopping short of mentioning any such incidents.

The ban is to protect Vietnamese passengers from what could happen, it said.

If Uber and Grab disobey the rule, they will be fined VND4-6 million ($175-260) per ride.

Last month, U.S.-based Uber and Malaysia-based Grab rolled out their carpooling services in Vietnam, promising to help passengers save 30 percent of payments by splitting the costs.

Uber and Grab entered Vietnam in 2014. Since then, the two have repeatedly made headlines for regulatory issues.

Exisiting service providers have not been happy. Vinasun and Mai Linh, the two major taxi companies in Vietnam, blame their business difficulties on Uber and Grab, saying the competition has been "unfair" because the foreign firms are not subjected to strict tax rules.

 

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