Over 31.9 trillion VND worth of G-bonds sold in December
The Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX) has sold over 31.9 trillion VND (1.5 billion USD) worth of government bonds in December, an increase of 394 percent compared to November.
Of the amount, nearly 18.8 trillion VND (894 million USD) was raised for the State Treasury, 200 billion VND (9.5 million USD) for the Bank for Social Policies and the remaining nearly 13 trillion VND (approximately 619 million USD) for the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam.
The annual interest rates range from 5 percent to 6.2 percent for three-year bonds, 5.85 percent to 7 percent for five-year bonds, 6.4 percent for ten-year bonds and 7.8 percent to 8.1 percent for 15-year bonds.
The total number of government bonds traded in outright transaction in secondary market this month reached over 862 million units worth over 95.6 trillion VND (4.55 billion USD), while over 344 million bonds valued at 35.8 billion VND (1.7 billion USD) were traded in repurchase transactions.-
Northwestern region reports 14.45 percent credit growth
Total outstanding loans of credit institutions in the northwestern region were estimated at more than 147.25 trillion VND (7.01 billion USD) by December 31, representing a year-on-year increase of 14.45 percent and 3.72 percent of the country’s total lending this year, said the State Bank of Vietnam (SVB).
By the date, bank branches in the 12 regional provinces mobilised nearly 110.96 trillion VND (5.28 billion USD), rising by 19.49 percent from a year earlier and accounting for 2.45 percent of the entire economy’s figure.
SBV Deputy Governor Dao Minh Tu said the region’s non-performing debt this year topped 2.12 trillion VND (over 100.9 million USD), accounting for 1.44 percent of total credit.
At a press conference on December 31, the SBV and the People’s Committee of Son La province said a conference to attract investment and aid to the northwestern region will be held on January 31 next year. At a similar event in 2014, commercial banks committed 333 billion VND (more than 15.85 million USD) for the provinces’ social welfare programmes.
HCM City market officials keep close eye on smuggled goods
Phan Hoan Kiem, director of Ho Chi Minh City’s market surveillance department, said the city will keep a close watch on smuggled goods in the run-up period to the Tet (Lunar New Year) festival.
The market surveillance force will intensify checks of major transport routes especially the national roads No 1 and No. 22, inter-provincial roads passing districts Cu Chi, Hoc Mon, Binh Chanh, and 12 as well as water ways from Long An and Tay Ninh to the city, which are usually used for transporting smuggled tobacco, alcohol and milk.
Also on the list of places under tight surveillance are commodity storage and transit facilities to detect illegal goods.
In 2014, the department conducted 18,740 inspections and detected 12,130 cases of law violations, up 3,380 cases or 22.2 percent from the previous year.
Over 630,000 tobacco packs, 400 motorbikes and nine cars used for transporting smuggled goods were confiscated.
The department also checked 1,400 enterprises and seized 2,070 batches of goods ranging from clothing to food.
Processing, manufacturing industry performs well in 2014
The processing and manufacturing industry is a highlight of the industry and trade sector in 2014 with a growth rate of 8.7 percent and an 11.1 percent increase in sales index, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) reported on December 31.
At the ministry’s online conference to review the year’s performance, it was also reported that the national industrial production index showed a 7.6 percent rise, while the industrial sector’s export value went up 13.6 percent from last year to 150 billion USD, surpassing the set target by 3.6 percent.
Such outcomes are positive and will create a momentum for the sector’s development in the following years, Minister Vu Huy Hoang said.
Deputy Minister Nguyen Cam Tu noted that besides processing and manufacturing, electricity production and distribution also saw a high growth at 12.1 percent, which showed production activities have made remarkable recovery.
Nevertheless, Minister Hoang pointed to the major weakness of the sector which is the under-developed supporting industry. Domestic makers have to import most of their needed materials, spare parts and components, thus affecting their products’ competitiveness in terms of prices.
General Director of the MOIT’s Heavy Industry Department Truong Thanh Hoai said the growth of some industries particularly textile and garment, footwear, automobile, and electronics is still based on scale, with most enterprises engaging in sub-contracting or assembling. As a result, their products have low added value as well as low local content ratio.
For 2015, the ministry aims for a 7.8-7.9 percent growth in industrial production and 165 billion USD in export revenue. The retail sales of goods and services should increase by 11-12 percent and consumer price index be kept at around 5 percent.-
Vietnam-Mexico trade exceeds 1.8 billion USD
Two-way trade between Vietnam and Mexico in 2014 is likely to exceed 1.8 billion USD, up 12 percent against last year, according to Mexico ’s Ministry of Economy (SE).
The SE’s estimates showed Mexico ’s export to Vietnam reached 142 million USD, up 35 percent while Mexico imported an amount of goods worth 1.68 billion USD from Vietnam , a yearly increase of 13 percent.
According to commercial counsellor Hoang Tuan Viet, Vietnam’s main export goods are footwear; phones and spare parts; computers; electronic products and parts; garments; seafood; transport vehicles and parts; coffee; and machineries and parts.
Last year, Vietnam exported 87,000 tonnes of rice to Mexico to take over the United States as the biggest rice exporter to the North America country.-
Agricultural restructuring focuses on scientific application, production
Agricultural restructuring will focus on the two breakthroughs of scientific-technological application and re-organisation of production, according to Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat.
Appearing at a hearing held by the National Assembly’s Economic Committee on December 31, the minister reported that his ministry is implementing 12 projects to carry out restructuring in the fields of cultivation, animal husbandry, forestry, fishery, agro-forestry-seafood processing and irrigation.
Major solutions include reforming mechanisms and policies; restructuring public investment; developing research and the transfer of technologies; re-organising production activity; training labourers; and improving capacity and efficiency of state management.
According to the minister, restructuring efforts have contributed greatly to the agricultural sector’s performance in 2014, with a growth rate of 3.9 percent in production value, higher than the set target of 3.27 percent. The sector earned an estimated 30.86 billion USD from exports, up 11.2 percent from last year, while the ratio of added value in the sector’s production value increased from 64.7 percent in 2013 to 67.8 percent.
Regarding preparations for the sector’s international integration, particularly when the ASEAN Economic Community is formed in 2015, Phat said the ministry will focus on developing products in which the country has the upper hand.
Next year, the ministry will work with research institutes on developing for-export rice varieties and expanding the model of large-scale fields, towards building the country’s rice brand name.
The minister also answered questions on policies to develop fisheries and issues related to farmers’ income and credit for forestry.
More positive signs for economy
The nation’s economy has regained strong growth momentum this year and seen more positive signs, such as higher gross domestic product (GDP) growth, lower-than-projected inflation and recovery of major sectors.
Nguyen Bich Lam, general director of the General Statistics Office (GSO), told a news briefing in Hanoi last Saturday that this year’s GDP has grown 5.98%, up from 5.25% in 2012 and 5.42% last year.
It is higher than the 5.8% target set earlier by the Government.
Industrial growth is 7.15% against last year, construction is recovering with a growth rate of 7.07% compared to 5.87% last year, and consumption is up 6.2%.
Lam said total money supply had risen 15.99% as of December 12 from last December, credit by 12.62% and capital mobilization by15.76%.
“These positive figures of the banking system prove monetary policy has paid off,” Lam said.
The average consumer price index (CPI) has gone up 4.09% this year over last year, a quite low increase in the past decade.
Total development investments are estimated to increase 11.5% and equivalent to 31% of GDP. Investments in the State, private and foreign direct investment (FDI) sectors have grown 10.1%, 13.6% and 10.5% respectively.
In the year to December 15, 1,588 FDI projects had been licensed with total registered capital of over US$15.64 billion, up 24.5% in number and 9.6% in capital compared to last year. FDI disbursements this year are put at US$12.4 billion, up 7.4% year-on-year and 2.9% higher than the year’s target.
Exports have soared 13.6% to US$150 billion this year, with the domestic economic sector accounting for US$48.4 billion (up 10.4%) and the foreign-investor sector taking up US$101.6 billion (up 15.2%, crude oil included) or US$94.4 billion (up 16.7%, crude oil excluded).
Imports have totaled US$148 billion this year, rising 12.1% year-on-year. Of this amount, the foreign-invested and domestic economic sectors make up US$84.5 billion (up 13.6%) and US$63.5 billion (up 10.2%) respectively.
Therefore, Vietnam will enjoy a trade surplus of around US$2 billion this year, the highest since 2012, thus helping stabilize the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and Vietnam dong, and balance foreign currency supply and demand on the local market.
Hai Phong port handles 19.6 mln tonnes of goods in 2014
The Hai Phong port in the northern city of the same name handled 19.6 million tonnes of goods in 2014, up by 4.2 percent from a year ago and generating 1.56 trillion VND (73.32 million USD) in revenue.
The result is attributed to the application of a new management model, facilitating customers. The port established a hotline to swiftly address clients’ difficulties and applied the one-stop shop mechanism, said Nguyen Hung Viet, Director General of the Hai Phong Port.
The port built new port system of seven wharves with a total length of 1,405m in Dinh Vu, capable of handling 15 million tonnes of goods a year.
Viet said the port could receive 220m-long, 40,000 DWT vessels.
In addition to the Hai Phong Port, the city has eight others, including Vat Cach, Dinh Vu and Nam Dinh Vu, Song Cam, Dien Dien, Doan Xa, Hai An and a port for seafood.
The complex of ports in Hai Phong City makes it the biggest in the northern area and the second largest in the country.-
Retail sales up 10.6% in 2014
The country’s total retail sales and service revenues are estimated to reach VND2.945 trillion in 2014, up 10.6% compared to the previous year.
Of which, the non-State sector accounted for 86.5%, reaching nearly VND2.548 trillion, up 10.5%. The foreign-invested sector posted the highest growth rate of 16.9%, achieving VND97,800 billion, making up 3.3%. The State sector recorded the figure of VND299,700 billion, accounting for 10.2% and up 9.6%.
The total retail sales in December attained VND205,100 billion, up 1.9% compared to the previous month, contributing to the total retail sales of the whole year to VND2.216 trillion, accounting for 75% of the total retail sales and service revenues and up 11.3% against the previous year.
The restaurant and tourism sector collected VND32,200 billion in December, bringing the total figure of the year to VND381,800 billion, up 8%.
Earlier, according to the General Statistics Office, the nation’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) in December decreased 0.24% in comparison with the previous month, recording the lowest CPI in the recent 10 years.
Number of re-operated enterprises up 7.1%
Viet Nam recorded a total number of 74,842 newly-established enterprises in 2014 with a total registered capital of VND432,200 billion, up 8.4% in term of capital against the previous year.
Average capital of a newly-established enterprise reached VND5.8 billion, up 11.5%. As many as 1,091,000 jobs were created in 2014, up 2.8%.
The number of businesses resuming operations increased 7.1%, achieving 15,419.
As many as 22,800 businesses increased their capital by additional VND595,700 billion, contributing to the total newly-registered and additional capital to nearly VND1.028 trillion in 2014.
This year, 58,322 enterprises were dissolved or temporarily suspended operation.
In December only, 7,052 businesses were formed with a total registered capital of VND40,900 billion, up 5.6% compared to the previous month. The month also witnessed 1,211 enterprises resuming operation and 7,944 others dissolved or temporarily halted operation.
Telcos beat year’s targets
A majority of telecom companies have realized their sales targets this year despite lingering economic woes, according to the Ministry of Information and Communications.
Viettel is the most successful player in the sector as its revenue is higher than other companies and nearly doubles the figure of VNPT.
A report of Viettel sent to the Ministry of Information and Communications last week showed the military-run telecom group has obtained revenue of over VND196.6 trillion, 4% higher than the target and up 20% against last year.
The group’s pre-tax profit has risen 10.5% year-on-year to about VND40.5 trillion. The enterprise has paid more than VND15.4 trillion in tax.
Meanwhile, Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) has reported revenue of over VND101 trillion, up 6% compared to last year, and pre-tax profit of VND6.3 trillion this year, exceeding 3% of the year’s target and up 12% year-on-year. The State-owned corporation has contributed about VND5.85 trillion to State budget.
MobiFone, which was spun off from VNPT earlier this year, has seen its revenue 1.4% higher than the year’s target, at VND36.6 trillion, but falling 7.3% year-on-year. However, its pre-tax profit has inched up 5.2% year-on-year to VND7.3 trillion.
In a report submitted to the ministry, Vietnam Television Corporation (VTC) has estimated its revenue at VND3.2 trillion. Meanwhile, Hanoi Telecom has earned nearly VND10.7 trillion and FPT Corporation’s revenue is about VND34.2 trillion.
Small companies like Saigontourist Cable TV (SCTV), VNG Corporation and HiPT Corporation have also posted high revenues of VND3.1 trillion (up over 130% year-on-year), VND1.58 trillion and VND500 billion respectively.
Vietnam Post is the only company in the sector failing to realize its business target when its revenue stands at VND6.4 trillion, or 93.6% of the target. However, its profit has soared nearly 20% over last year to VND99.3 billion.
The ministry has put combined telecom sales this year at VND305 trillion, which is 1.5 times higher than last year.
Some 24 telecom firms have been licensed to set up public telecom networks and over 100 enterprises have got the nod to provide telecom services. The number of broadband Internet subscribers has reached 11.92 million while the number of mobile phone subscribers has amounted to 138.63 million.
The information technology industry has obtained more than US$27 billion in revenue this year and now has some 350,000 employees.
Investment pledges in SHTP grow strongly
Fresh investment approvals at Saigon Hi-Tech Park (SHTP) in HCMC have amounted to nearly US$1.9 billion this year, up a whopping 670.4% against last year.
According to the authority of SHTP, the park has attracted six domestic projects with combined registered investment capital of US$348.6 million and four foreign direct investment (FDI) projects worth about US$1.55 billion.
The new capital commitments to SHTP are beyond expectations of the authority and 1,165% higher than the target for this year.
Samsung’s US$1.4 billion electronic devices manufacturing project licensed in early October is a major contributor to the capital spike as this is the biggest project at SHTP in District 9 so far.
The Samsung CE Complex (SECC) will be developed on 70 hectares, and Samsung will set up a research and development (R&D) center for programs and applications for electronic items. The project is scheduled for coming online in the second quarter of 2016.
Last year, the SHTP authority launched a major campaign to attract projects incorporating R&D facilities and investors with big names and source technologies, and restrict projects that rely on low labor cost and incentives for high-tech developments.
Investors should prove they will add value to the products they make at the park and include R&D activities into their planned projects.
Many experts expressed concerns that SHTP would find it difficult to realize its goal as multinationals normally invest in R&D at their headquarters or in big markets with high-quality manpower and support policies.
The authority of SHTP admitted that many operational projects at the park have created low added value and mainly assembled products in the past years. One of the reasons for this is that licensing was quite easy in the initial stages of the park’s development.
Moreover, investors at SHTP have to import materials and components as supporting industries and suppliers of parts in the country cannot meet their demands.
SHTP now has 68 valid projects with total registered capital of over US$4.17 billion including US$816.6 million in 36 domestic projects and over US$3.35 billion in 32 foreign investments. Operational enterprises at the park have reported export revenues of US$9.89 billion and spent nearly US$8.8 billion on component imports so far.
Fuel price plunge to affect PV Gas profit
etroVietnam Gas Corporation (PV Gas) said its liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) volume and revenue have exceeded this year’s targets but its profit could be lower than last year due to falling fuel prices on global markets.
In its report on this year’s business results announced last week, PV Gas said it has obtained revenue of VND20.28 trillion (US$948.5 million) from selling more than one million tons of LGP on both domestic and foreign markets this year, or 11% higher than the year’s target for volume and exceeding the target by 21% for value.
Of the figure, 300,700 tons was produced by Dinh Co factory in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province and 75,100 tons by Dung Quat Oil Refinery in Quang Ngai Province, and 668,500 tons was imported.
However, as LPG prices have plummeted on the world market this year and global oil prices have plunged to the lowest levels in four years, PV Gas predicted its profit would slide this year compared to last year.
The price of the corporation’s GAS shares has tumbled 44% in the past four months, from VND126,000 (US$5.89) per share on August 28 to VND70,500 per share on December 26.
Next year, PV Gas targets to produce and sell 960,000 tons of LPG and earn revenue of more than VND69.5 trillion (US$3.2 billion), and net profit of over VND11.5 trillion (US$538.9 million).
Vietcombank Securities Limited Company (VCBS) said in its recent report that as a company specializing in processing and trading LPG and dry gas, PV Gas would be affected by the world oil price fall.
For LPG, both revenue and profit would drop as the average price of the product on the market fall. Meanwhile, from next year, the selling price of dry gas will be calculated on the market price plus transport and distribution costs.
Export turnover aims for US$165 billion in 2015
The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has set a target of US$165 billion in export turnover in 2015 by expanding the market and ironing out snags in businesses to ensure sustainable export growth.
At a review meeting on December 31, the Ministry said that Vietnamese exporters should grasp opportunities brought about by trade agreements in the new year.
Minister Vu Huy Hoang said,“We will continue to remove obstacles to businesses, particularly small and medium-sized businesses (SoEs) to help them stabilize their production and bolster exports. We will try to find new markets and boost trade promotion to achieve a 10% export growth rate in 2015.”
Vietnam’s export value in 2014 was estimated at US$150 billion, up 13.6% from a year earlier.
Vietnam’s positive economic development hailed
The European news agency, Euro Presse Image (www.epi-agency.com) has published an article on Vietnam’s overall economic picture which underscored that in 2014, the national economy continued to grow as a result of efforts from the Government’s effective economic management measures.
The article highlighted the results the Vietnamese economy achieved in 2014 such as continued macroeconomic stability, controlled inflation, relatively high growth and positive signs in key sectors, recovery of industrial production, notably in the processing and manufacturing industries, improved trade balance leading to high trade surplus.
Credit balance was higher than the level recorded in previous years while the monetary and foreign exchange market stayed stable.
In addition, obstacles have been gradually removed for businesses, thus helping stabilize people’s lives, it noted.
However, the article also touched upon challenges facing the Vietnamese economy- low-paced economic restructuring, high public debt and irrational structure and difficulties in the development of the support and key industries.
The goals and orientations set by the Vietnam Government coupled with new signs of the world economy will create more opportunities for Vietnam to boost deeper integration into the global economy, paving the way for businesses to bolster export – import for stronger economic growth in the time ahead, it said.
Danang – one of Vietnam’s fastest growing ports
The Danang port handled six million tonnes of goods in 2014, up by 20.19% from a year ago, generating VND450 billion in revenue.
Danang municipal People’s Committee Vice Chairman Nguyen Ngoc Tuan congratulated the Danang Port Joint Stock Company, saying he hoped that the port would receive a 10% rise in goods to 6.5 tonnes in 2015.
The port should attract more cruise ships to raise the number of sea travelers and create more favourable conditions for naval ships to pay friendly visits to Danang city, Tuan said.
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