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BUSINESS IN BRIEF 4/5   2009-05-04 - VietNamNet/VNA, TN

US business delegation to visit Vietnam

Representatives of about 20 leading businesses in the US will visit Vietnam from May 13-15 under an arrangement by the US-ASEAN Business Council.

According to the Office of the US-ASEAN Business Council in Hanoi, the delegation will include representatives from GE, Caterpillar, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, ConocoPhilipps, Abbott, AES, AIG, Ford, Time Warner, UPS, Guardian Industries, Monsanto, IBM and APCO Worldwide.

The visit aims to learn about Vietnam’s priorities in drafting a socio-economic development strategy for 2011-2020 and the needs of concrete sectors such as investment, trade, transport infrastructure, finance, energy, agriculture and healthcare.

The delegation will discuss possible contributions by US groups to addressing these sectors’ priority issues through technical assistance for plan making, establishment of strategic public-private partnership, technology transfer and personnel training

VN-Index surges after holiday

Many shares at both the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE) and the Hanoi Securities Trading Centre rose to the highest level of the permitted trading band on May 4 after the four-day holiday.

The VN-Index gained 15.01 points to close the day at 336.64 or 4.67 percent.

However, market liquidity dropped to a monthly low with only 14.4 million shares traded throughout the day at a value of 322.2 billion VND, falling by half from the previous session on April 29.

The Hanoi market also posted an increase of 6.49 points (5.64 percent), closing at 121.49 points.

Trading volume fell by nearly half of April 29 session to 8.7 million shares, totalling 170.48 billion VND.

UK retailer licenses Vietnamese dragon fruit supplier

Bao Thanh Co. has become the first Vietnamese company authorized by British retailer Tesco to supply dragon fruit for its 2,000 supermarkets around the globe.

Bao Thanh’s export manager, William Ying, says Tesco licensed its Nature’s Choice label to his company after one year of applying Tesco’s growing and packing standards to Bao Thanh’s operations in Binh Thuan Province.

Ying said his firm would be able to supply the dragon fruit under its Ticay brand.

Bao Thanh, which holds GlobalGAP and other international certificates for dragon fruit production, was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City.

Indian authorities to open talk on antidumping textile fiber

Indian authorities will host a discussion on May 5 to shed light on the underselling of textile fiber commodities imported from Vietnam, China and Thailand, Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade said.

Manufacturers, importers and exporters are invited, along with relevant Vietnamese entrepreneurs who should be well prepared for the talk to avoid losses, said the Indian Ministry of Industry and Trade’s General Bureau of Antidumping, who will host the discussion.

Last May, MIT said the Indian general bureau of antidumping had probed into the underselling of textile fiber commodity originating from Vietnam, China and Thailand.

The number of antidumping lawsuits against Vietnamese producers has recently increased to an alarming level as many countries try to shield their own industries amid the economic crisis, according to the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Department of Competition Administration.

Telecom equipment, confectionery firms to pay big dividends

Despite last year’s poor results and the continuing recession, telecom equipment manufacturer Vien Lien Joint Stock Co. and confectionery company Kinh Do Group have promised to pay high dividends this year.

Vien Lien last year made a pretax profit of VND1.37 billion (US$77,031), or VND342 per share, an 84 percent fall from the previous year.

The Ho Chi Minh City-based company paid just VND300 a share as dividend last year against an expected VND2,000.

Though its projected 2009 figures are virtually the same as last year’s - net profit of VND5 billion on revenues of VND70 billion – the company surprised shareholders at the annual meeting by announcing it would pay a dividend of VND2,700 this year, including last year’s VND1,700.

The company also said it sold its entire 49 percent stake in unlisted Vien Dong Design and Construction Joint Stock Co for VND15 billion, but did not reveal the name of the buyer.

Vien Lien will also move to the smaller bourse in Hanoi since its chartered capital of VND47 billion does not meet the HCMC exchange’s requirement of at least VND80 billion.

Kinh Do Corp., a producer of baked goods and candy, has said it will pay a 24 percent dividend this year.

It posted a net loss of VND60.6 billion last year due to its writedown of securities worth around VND256 billion.

Kinh Do forecast sales to rise 9 percent to VND1.72 trillion and profit to VND256 billion.

It reported a first quarter profit of VND21 billion ($1.2 million), down 60 percent from a year earlier, Bloomberg quoted Le Phung Hao, the company’s deputy general director, as saying.

This year’s peak season during the Lunar New Year Festival came earlier than last year and so much of Kinh Do’s sales for the season took place in December, Hao said. The Ho Chi Minh City-based company’s sales this year have also been hurt by the domestic economic slowdown, he said.

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