Vietcombank raises interest rates for US dollar
Vietnams largest commercial bank, State-owned
Vietcombank, has decided to raise its interest
rates for U.S. dollar deposits for the third time
this year by 0.2 to 0.4% a year as of April 5.
Rates for two-month, three-month and six-month
deposits in U.S. dollars have increased to 2.3,
2.6 and 2.85% a year respectively.
This is the third time Vietcombanks U.S.
dollar deposit rates have risen in three consecutive
months. In March, the bank increased its rates
by 0.2 to 0.4% a year.
Vietcombank has also decided to boost rates for
Vietnamese dong deposits by 0.36 to 0.96%. (TN)
VN climbs four points in investment credibility
Vietnam has climbed four points from 54 to 50
in the investment credibility rankings, compared
to a survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence
Unit (EIU) five years ago.
Sixty countries involved in the survey account
for more than 95% of the world's trade and foreign
direct investment volume.
Demark is the best place in the world for businesses
in the next five years as it has liberal policies,
flexible labour market, high intellectual level,
transparent tax and financial policies, effective
government structure and perfect transport network.
Canada and the U.S. rank second and third, respectively.
Singapore and Hong Kong are the best places in
Asia and placed fourth and fifth respectively
in the world.
Far behind are other countries in Asia: Taiwan
(18), the Republic of Korea (19), Japan (28),
Malaysia (31), Thailand (32), the Philippines
(40), China (41) and Indonesia (45). (SGT)
Foreign investors may get to buy land rights
A proposal to allow foreign investors who wish
to acquire Hanoi land-use rights by an auction
process is in the pipeline, said a senior official
from the Hanoi Land Fund Development Centre.
The centre's director Cao Xuan Minh confirmed
that the centre, under the umbrella of the Hanoi
People's Committee, was working with city's Planning
and Investment Department and other relevant authorities
on the project, which is designed to improve the
local investment environment.
Foreign investors demand for land for certain
business purposes is growing, but under current
laws covering land use rights they are not allowed
to purchase the land, said Minh.
Under the centre's plan, foreign businesses must
present an approved investment project and other
necessary legal procedures prior to gaining permission
to enter the land auction. However, Minh said
the plan is still under consideration, and no
exact deadline has been set yet.
"The advantage here is that investors, be
they domestic or foreign, will not have to worry
about the ground clearance, which is seen as the
most difficult and time-consuming process,"
he said. "We will settle the ground clearance
and other related works before the auction, and
the investor will just start their business."
The centre will auction five land lot totalling
50ha in the city's districts of Dong Anh, Long
Bien, Tu Liem and Cau Giay this year. (VNS)
Kinh Do set to issue 500,000 new shares in
The Kinh Do Corp. has said it will sell 500,000
new shares to raise funds for a new confectionery
factory. General director Tran Le Nguyen said
the issue would be launched in May, targeting
both existing shareholders and outsiders.
Kinh Do prefers selling shares to its distributors
and material suppliers or anyone who will help
better its management, he said, adding foreign
investors would be eligible to buy.
The board of directors will meet next week to
decide the price and volume of shares to be sold,
In January, VinaCapital's Vietnam Opportunity
Fund (VOF) invested US$5 million in Kinh Do through
a secondary purchase, becoming the first foreign
investor to hold a stake in a Vietnamese confectionery
Kinh Do will raise its registered capital to
VND250 billion (US$16 million) after the issue
The capital increase will enable it to finance
a project to build a 13-hectare factory in the
Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park in HCM City's
neighbouring province of Binh Duong, Nguyen said.
Kinh Do will list its shares on the local stock
exchange some time this year. After that, it will
merge with the bourse-listed North Kinh Do, which
now has VND50 billion in chartered capital with
Kinh Do holding almost half of the shares. (SGT)
Joint venture to open cinema complexes
Vietnam's Phuong Nam Co. and Envoy Partners Ltd.
based in the British Virgin Islands have got the
go-ahead for their joint venture to build cinemas
The Megastar Media Joint Venture, which got a
25-year license from the Ministry of Planning
and Investment, is capitalized at US$8 million,
with the local partner holding a 20% stake and
the foreign side the rest.
The venture is due to open its first cinema complex
at the Vincom City Towers in Hanoi in this year's
third quarter. Located on the sixth floor, the
complex will have eight cinemas with a total of
In HCM City, the company will build a cinema
complex at Hung Vuong Plaza at 126 Hung Vuong
street in District 5.
All together, Megastar Media will build eight
complexes in Vietnam. A complex will house eight
to 12 cinemas, seating a total of 1,500 people,
a fast food restaurant, a game section, and a
The company also has permission to import movies
Megastar Media is the second joint venture in
Vietnam to open cinemas and import movies after
Diamond Cinema, a 10:90 joint venture between
Fafilm Vietnam and Good Fellas, which has 37 cinemas
in the Republic of Korea. (SGT)
Delay of quota rules irks garment industry
The ministries of Trade and Industry have issued
an inter-ministerial circular governing quota
transfers for garment companies exporting to the
U.S., but business leaders have complained that
a delay in the Government's official recognition
of quota trading has cost them money.
The release of the circular was delayed by one
week due to the fact that both ministries had
to consider trade rules very carefully so as to
avoid any abuse of regulations, said a Ministry
of Industry official.
Due to the delay, Circular No.06/2006/TTLT-BTM-BCN
will come into effect in more than two weeks,
which fails to meet garment manufacturers expectations.
At present, demand for quota transferring between
firms is high because fluctuations in the markets
for various categories of goods occur on a yearly
The Government agreed to allow companies to trade
quotas on different goods and items nearly two
months ago. Under the rules, enterprises are only
allowed to transfer "export-record"
quotas and quotas between companies in each group,
which usually comprises five exporters.
The company's "export-record" quota
is based on its export capacity for each clothing
category to the U.S. during the previous year.
However, the exporters must exchange quotas directly
and no intermediaries are allowed to be involved.
Any businesses trading in quotas will have to
report the transaction to the local Ministry of
Trade officials. If the companies do not use all
the transferred quotas, they are not permitted
to hand the unused quotas over to other firms,
they are required to inform the two ministries.
The information on quota transferring or trading
will be updated on the websites of the Ministry
of Trade, www.mot.gov.vn, and the Vietnam Textile
and Apparel Association, www.vntextile.com. (VNS)
1st batch of herbal tea to be exported to
The Hung Phat Tea Company in Ho Chi Minh City
is preparing to export the first batch of herbal
tea bags, worth US$44,000, to Australia.
Director of Hung Phat Company, Le Thanh Hung,
said Vietnamese herbal tea would be sold in Australian
super markets together with similar products from
In an effort to expand the market for tea export,
the Vietnam Tea Association has asked businesses
to ensure healthy competition and improve the
quality of export products to meet customers'
demands, while increasing the rate of processed
tea exports. It also mentioned the work being
done to advertise Vietnamese trademarks. (VNA)
Q1 garment & textile exports earn $950mil
Vietnam earned US$950 million from textile and
garment exports in the first quarter of this year,
a 2.9% year-on-year increase but much lower than
the targeted 18.6% growth, announced the Ministry
Except for slight increases in the U.S. and Japanese
markets, textile and garment exports showed decreases
in most other markets, particularly in the EU,
where Vietnamese exporters are facing difficulties
due to the EU's tax reduction and exemption for
Textile and garment exports to the U.S. earned
US$300 million, a year-on-year increase of 3.7%.
At the current pace, the target of exporting US$1.2-1.4
billion worth of textiles and garments to this
market in the first half of the year will be difficult
The ministry is instructing textile and garment
enterprises to review all groups of competitive
products and take measures to reduce costs and
improve their competitiveness.
The Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association has
been told to boost their role as a link between
domestic enterprises and retail groups in the
U.S. and the EU, and to help exporters take part
in international fairs for market development.
Vietnam wins contracts to export 1.2 million
tonnes of rice
Vietnamese rice exporters have won contracts
to export 200,000 tonnes of rice to the Philippines,
the Middle East and southern American countries
during the first days of April, announced the
Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
(MARD) on April 4.
This has brought the total volume of rice to
be exported under contracts to 1.2 million tonnes
so far this year, doubling that of the same period
In addition, Viet Nam's rice export prices have
recently increased US$45 per tonne to approximately
US$300 per tonne. The rice prices will contineue
to increase slightly in the coming period.
In the first quarter of 2005, the country exported
totally 961,000 tonnes, earning US$260 million,
respectively, according to the Ministry of Trade.
The ministry said although rice exports in the
first quarter only made up 83.5% of the volume
exported in the corresponding period last year,
total export value rose by 2.6%. On average, a
tonne of rice was traded at more than US$270.5,
up 23% from a year ago. (VnMedia)
Foreign arrivals to HCM City up 21%
Ho Chi Minh City welcomed 586,564 foreign arrivals
in the first quarter of 2005, up 21% over the
same period last year.
Of the figure, holiday makers accounted for 280,211;
overseas Vietnamese, 138,683; and the remainder,
businessmen, mainly from the U.S., Japan, Taiwan,
Australia, the Republic of Korea, France, Canada,
the UK, China, and Singapore.
The increasing number of tourists was attributed
to HCM City's various tourism promotion activities,
including those on foreign TV as well as on the
The city coordinated with the Malaysian Television
to broadcast a game show, and with the U.S. Public
Broadcasting Service (PBS) to air a culinary show
called "Let's get cooking with Tommy Tang"
in order to introduce its tourist attractions.
Seminar on WTO opens in Hanoi
A four-day seminar on the World Trade Organization
(WTO) and the necessary reforms for Vietnam once
it is admitted to the world's biggest trade body
opened in Hanoi on Apr. 4.
During the first day of the seminar, co-hosted
by the National Academy of Social Science (NASS)
and the World Bank (WB), presentations were made
about the WTO and the Doha Negotiation Round,
policies to develop industries and lessons to
be drawn from other countries and the Governments'
According to Martin Rama, an expert from the
WB, the WTO membership will offer an important
opportunity for Vietnam to accelerate its reforms
and make basic changes to institutions regarding
Vietnamese businesses. Vietnam should move to
adjust its policies and introduce reforms in the
country in parallel with its process of entry
into the WTO.
Prof. Do Hoai Nam, president of the NASS, said
Vietnam is boosting its negotiations to join the
WTO by the end of 2005. The country has so far
completed nine rounds of multilateral talks and
is preparing for the next round, scheduled to
take place in Geneva, Switzerland, next May.
Vietnam has also completed bilateral talks with
six WTO member countries and is actively negotiating
with remaining partners among the 27 partners
which have registered for bilateral talks with
Vietnam. The latest rounds of bilateral negotiations
between Vietnam and the U.S., Canada and China
yielded positive results, Nam said.
He went on to say that Vietnam is working on
a plan for socio-economic development in the 2006-2010
period, with the focus to be put on pushing up
the economic growth in harmony with its quality,
boosting poverty reduction and actively integrating
into the world economy. (VNA)