Malaysia’s Hong Leong Bank opens in Ha Noi
The Malaysian Hong Leong Bank yesterday opened the Ha Noi branch – its second in Viet Nam, and introduced the priority banking service in this branch.
Priority banking service is part of consumer banking, aiming at higher income customers. The service caters for individuals with opening balance of VND1.2 billion (US$54,172) and above. Customers using this services will each have their own personal relationship manager who create financial solutions for clients’ goals, life stages and risk appetites.
City residential project wins high-rise award
CapitaLand prime residential complex project in HCM City, Beau Rivage, has won the prestigious “Best High-Rise Development” award at the Asia Pacific Property Awards 2011.
The award recognises CapitaLand’s efforts to incorporate internationally good design principles and practices at Beau Rivage, which comprises 962 apartments across four residential towers overlooking the Sai Gon River.
Cholimex targets 25% dividend
Shareholders of Cholimex Food have agreed that the company should target payout of 25 per cent dividend this year, up from 22 per cent last year.
The annual shareholders’ meeting yesterday also gave approval for setting a pre-tax profit target of VND36 billion on revenues of VND460 billion (US$22 million).Last year’s profit was VND33 billion and turnover, VND391 billion.
This year Cholimex Food plans to invest almost VND15 billion in renovating a food processing line and building a 1,000-tonne cold storage.It annually produces 2,500 tonnes of frozen food and 35 million bottles of soya, chilli, and tomato sauces, and exports products to more than 30 markets, including the UK, France and Switzerland.
Hoa Phat posts high Q1 profits
Hoa Phat Group (HPG), the third largest steel producer in Viet Nam, has reported first quarter revenue and post-tax profits over double that of last year, reaching VND4.8 trillion (US$228.7 million) in revenue and VND550 billion ($26.3 million) in net profit. Hoa Phat Minerals Joint Stock Corp, a subsidiary, recently joined hands with Ha Tinh Minerals and Trading Co to establish Hoa Phat Mitraco Minerals Co to process iron ore from Thach Khe Mine in the central province of Ha Tinh. The group holds a 63.5 per cent stake in the company.
Petrolimex reduces 2011 target
Petrolimex Corporation (PLC) has approved business plans in 2011, with VND5.15 trillion (US$245.2 million) in revenue and VND241 billion ($11.4 million) in pre-tax profit, both down 0.9 per cent against last year’s figures. Dividends will be paid by shares at a rate of 15 per cent, compared to 25 per cent in 2010.
“Cash dividends will decrease the capital, while we need a lot of bank loans,” said Nguyen Thanh Son, PLC Chairman.
The company plans to make cash dividend payments when it increases its charter capital to VND500 billion ($23.8 million) from the current VND350 billion ($16.67 million).
State-owned steel firm to hold IPO
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has approved a plan to equitise the Viet Nam Steel Corporation (VNSteel).
The Government will retain 90 per cent of the corporation’s charter capital, which is VND6.8 trillion (US$323.8 million). A 9.7 per cent stake, or 66 million shares, will be auctioned via an initial public offering (IPO), while the company’s employees and trade union will hold the remaining 0.3 per cent stake.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade will represent the Government to prepare the IPO launch.
Two firms to pay cash dividends
Ha Giang Mineral Mechanics Co has announced that it would be paying the second phase of its 2010 dividend on May 12. Payments will be made in cash at a rate of 30 per cent. Meanwhile, the Viet Nam National General Export-Import Co No 1 (TH1) has cut its second phase cash dividend payouts from 15 to 10 per cent and payment would be made on May 25.
Next Thursday is the deadline for shareholders of the two companies to register to participate in these payouts.
Gold seller doubles revenues
The HCM Stock Exchange-listed Phu Nhuan Jewellery Company (PNJ) reported a turnover of VND3.581 trillion (US$171 million) in the first quarter, 100 per cent up from a year ago.Its net profit was VND 98 billion, a 43 per cent rise.
During the quarter, PNJ opened five more outlets to increase its network to 153.It has completed the formalities for setting up a jewellery production factory in HCM City in the second quarter.
Brokerage issues convertible bonds
HCM City Securities Co (HCM) plans to issue two-year non-convertible bonds this month worth VND50 billion (US$2.4 million) at an interest rate of 17 per cent.
Bonds will have a face value of VND1 billion ($47,847) and money raised from the issue will be used to supplement the company’s working capital.
MobiFone receives VICTA award
Mobifone won the Viet Nam Information and Telecommunications (VICTA) award for mobile telcom company with the best quality service.
The VICTA 2010 award is awarded annually by the Ministry of Information and Communications.
2010 was a year that saw MobiFone achieve a breakthrough with policies to lower rates in both 2G and 3G networks. In addition, MobiFone has also further invested in value-added services to meet the increasingly diverse needs of customers.
Ace Life introduces two new plans
ACE Life Insurance Company Limited (ACE Life) has officially announced the launch of two new life insurance plans: the “Term Plan Yearly renewable – 2010″ and “Term Plan 10/15/20 years – 2010″
“We acknowledge that many Vietnamese people, especially young adults, cannot afford a life insurance policy to protect themselves and their families from financial loss in case the family bread-winner passes away,” said Lam Hai Tuan, CEO of ACE Life Viet Nam and Senior Vice President of ACE Life.
“Nevertheless, these individuals are seen as the most vulnerable and the “Term Plan Yearly renewable – 2010″ and “Term Plan 10/15/20 years – 2010″ are tailor-made for this special segment of customers. With these products, their families will be protected in the event of an unfortunate death.”
Building open with hanging gardens
A luxury apartment complex, the first in Viet Nam having hanging gardens, was inaugurated in HCM City on April 24 after two years of construction.
The Ruby Garden building is designed with giant hanging gardens on alternate floors around the four surfaces of the building.
The 12-storey building has 302 apartments and 12 penthouses with their own hanging gardens.
Eximbank gets shareholder nod for rights share
Shareholders of the joint stock Eximbank Viet Nam have approved the rights issue of almost 180 million new shares this year to increase its charter capital by 17 per cent.
The issue will take place in the second half of the year and increase the capital to VND12.355 trillion (US$588.5 million) from the current VND10.56 trillion.
The bank, which has assets of VND180 trillion, targets pre-tax profits of VND3 trillion this year.
VTV1 airs finance bulletin three times daily
VTV1 has started airing the latest business information at 7am, 12.30pm and 9pm daily, Viet Nam Television’s News Department announced at a recent press conference on Monday.
The “newsletter” provides information on economics and finance domestically and globally. Live broadcasts also enable viewers to discuss economic issues with policy makers, State authorities and economic experts.
Hai Duong approves $180m garment project
Hai Duong People’s Committee on Monday granted a business licence to a new garment project, worth US$180 million.
The project, a joint venture by the China’s Pacific and Crystal groups, will occupy a 70ha site in Nguyen Giap Industrial Complex, Tu Ky District. Annual revenue is expected to reach $590 million.
Viet Nam-India trade up 88.5% in first quarter
Two-way trade between Viet Nam and India grew 88.5 per cent during the first quarter of this year against the same period last year, reaching US$292 million, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Among Viet Nam’s key exports to India were iron and steel, electronic components, chemicals, machines and equipment, furnitures and footwear. India is now Viet Nam’s 11th largest importer.
US insurer launches one-off payment policy
US insurance company ACE Life Vietnam on Monday launched a new product called Single Premium-Universal Life 65.
It requires policy holders to pay a one-time premium for protection until the age of 65 against financial losses in the event of death of the insured. In major cities, more and more people have an annual income of above US$14,300, and the policy to ACE Life’s existing portfolio will enable these customers to have the option of paying the premium once at a lower rate.
Fifty trade promotion projects receive financial support
Fifty projects run by 22 trade-promotion organisations and 16 localities will receive State financial support of VND55 billion (US$2.63 million) under the first phrase of the National Trade Promotion Programme 2011, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has announced.
In addition to increasing exports and reducing the trade deficit, this year’s programme gives priority to national trade-promotion activities with a focus on rural, mountainous, border and island areas. The trade fairs and exhibitions opened during the programme will also help domestic firms access more customers and boost advertising.
Big plans for footwear, leather
The leather and footwear industry will be a national key export in 2020, according to a new development plan published by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) for the industry up to 2020, toward 2025.
By 2015 the ministry is estimat to earn US$9.1 billion in export turnover. MoIT hopes the turnover will increase to $14.5 billion in 2020 and $21 billion in 2025.
Meanwhile, the ministry aims for localisation to be 60-65 per cent in 2015, 75-80 per cent in 2020 and 80-85 per cent in 2025.
During this time, the industry will focus on developing designs, products and their human resources sector.
While the ministry has set the target for the industry, the Viet Nam Leather and Footwear Association (Lefaso) reported that domestic leather and footwear companies were facing a number of challenges due to high overhead costs.
Lefaso said that during the first quarter, the leather and footwear industry’s export turnover was $1.4 billion, a slight increase over the same period last year even though the sector received many orders for 2011.
The association’s deputy chairwoman Nguyen Thi Tong said the sector’s export value only increased in January.
In February and March, the sector hit 70 per cent of its established target.
Lefaso said that inflation directly affected their industry. Many Vietnamese companies depend on imported raw materials, so they were directly affected by the increase in price of raw materials.
Meanwhile, interest rates have been fluctuating between 18 per cent and 20 per cent.
A representative from Ngoc Ha Footwear Joint Stock Company in Ha Noi said his company was dealing with several difficulties because the price of raw materials was rising. His company and other companies had signed contracts at the time when prices were low.
The contracts were signed in late 2010 and the Vietnamese companies were unable to re-negotiate with their partners, said General Director of Ladoda Joint Company Dinh Quang Bao.
Bao said his company would increase the price of some of their products on the domestic market. However, more than 300 of the company’s branches have objected to this move.