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BUSINESS IN BRIEF 20/1   2009-01-20 - VNA

Malaysian group seeks central railway project

Malaysia ’s Giant Group has asked central Quang Tri province for a permit to survey, design and build a 95-km railway section that links Dong Ha city with Lao Bao on the Vietnam-Laos borderline.

Under its proposal, the company will carry out the project under the investment form of build-operate-transfer (BOT), provincial officials said on Jan. 19.

The project is part of the East-West Economic Corridor that is designed to promote cooperation and development among the four regional countries, namely Myanmar , Laos , Thailand and Vietnam .

Last November, the group signed a memorandum of understanding with the Lao Government to build a 3 billion USD express railway running from Savannakhet province to the Lao Bao border gate, with a total length of 220 km.

Under the terms of the deal, Giant Group will conduct surveys prior to carrying out a feasibility study to submit to the Lao government within two years.

Index stalls on slow trades

Trading remained mixed on the HCM Stock Exchange on Jan. 19, with the VN-Index slipping by 0.37 percent to close at 304.98, while the trading volume fell by 38 percent from the previous session, to just 4.5 million shares.

The value of Jan. 19’s trades reached only 106.03 billion VND (6.2 million USD).

Sacombank (STB) led the market with about 535,300 shares changing hands, followed the Saigon Securities Inc (SSI) with 247,400 shares, and Hoa Sen Group (HSG) wiuth 183,500.

Foreign-investor transactions were also sluggish, with about 1.2 million shares traded. Foreigners were net buyers of only 62,500 shares with a net value of 6 billion VND (353,000 USD).

VNDirect Securities wrote in a report on Jan. 19 that although the past week saw some local listed firms announce gold business results and the Government officially adopted its 1 billion USD stimulus package, “the domestic stock market is showing no signs of getting busy again… Perhaps investors are awaiting the coming Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday and considering entering the market afterwards, in addition to waiting on factors that are really of significance to the market.”

Hoang Thach Lan, director of the SME Securities analysis department, said investors should consider carefully when making investment decisions at this time, suggesting they should wait for companies’ 2008 financial reports and prepare their own plans for the year before choosing shares.
In Hanoi , the HASTC-Index slipped 0.87 percent to end the day at 101.95 points, on a negligible trading volume of 2.5 million shares and a turnover of just 51.3 billion VND (3 million USD).

Market leaders Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) generated orders for only 498,000 shares and its runner-up, Kim Long Securities (KLS), for only 207,000.

Vietnam, UK boost trade, investment cooperation

Vietnam and the UK have agreed to strengthen their businesses cooperation through a series of trade and investment promotion activities.

A cooperative agreement was signed by Director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Trade Promotion Department Do Thang Hai and the UK Department for International Development’s Minister of State, Gareth Thomas, in Hanoi on Jan. 19.

The two sides agreed to share information regarding market, economic and trade policies while speeding up the implementation of trade and investment promotion activities such as the organisation of fact-finding tours, exhibitions and fairs.

The agreement also covers activities to work towards the removal of trade and investment barriers between the two sides, including those within the framework of the Vietnam-UK Joint Economic and Trade Committee (Jetco).

According to the Trade Promotion Department, trade and investment relations between Vietnam and the UK have developed steadily over recent years. The UK ’s provision of aid to Vietnam totaled 274 million USD between 2000 and 2008.

Vietnam is also named in a list of 16 countries that are prioritised for investment by the UK .

During 2008, two-way trade between the UK and Vietnam exceeded 1.1 billion GBP (1.76 billion USD), representing a 16.2 percent increase against the previous year. Vietnam ’s export turnover to the UK stood at more than 954 million GBP while its import turnover was 204 million GBP.

President urges PetroVietnam to intensify development

 
State President Nguyen Minh Triet has praised the achievements made by the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) but he has also urged the sector to try its best to ensure further development in the future.

“Vietnam’s oil and gas industry has been rapidly growing and expanding its operations into other countries, but the Party, State and people hope to see it develop even more rapidly and sustainably,” he said.

The State leader made the statement at the group’s year-end conference, which took place in Hanoi on Jan. 19, during which he, on behalf of the Party and State, bestowed the title “Labour Hero” on the group and presented other awards to its leaders and subsidiaries.

He said the title and awards were in recognition of PetroVietnam’s recent developmental success, transforming it into one of the economy’s spearhead sectors and making important contributions to the State budget.

In the context of the uncertainty of the global economy during 2009, the industry should prepare its staff to meet targets and to obtain the best possible results, the President said.

He asked the group to adhere to its traditional aims of ensuring steady future growth and hoped that it would contribute further to the country’s development.

PetroVietnam has set a number of important targets for 2009, including implementation of the Government’s package of solutions to prevent an economic slowdown, successfully managing a number of power plants, and commencing operations at the Dung Quat oil refinery.

The group aims to post revenues of 212.5 trillion VND (more than 12 billion USD) and contribute 61.6 trillion VND (3.5 billion USD) to the State coffers during 2009. 



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Stocks languish ahead of Tet   2009-01-19

BUSINESS IN BRIEF 19/1   2009-01-19

Selling state’s capital to have new mechanism   2009-01-19

Market mixed, but volume higher   2009-01-18

Vietnam, Laos agree on preferential tariff   2009-01-18