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BUSINESS IN BRIEF 9/9   2009-09-09 - VietNamNet/VNA

Gold price reaches new high

 
Gold price reached a record high of VND 21.86 million (US $ 1,221) per tael (around 1.75 ounces) yesterday in the domestic market as the global gold price hit $1,000 an ounce for the first time in six months in a sign that investors remain concerned about the sustainability of global economic recovery.

On September 8, most gold shops lifted their gold price by roughly VND 60,000 ($3.35)-VND 100,000 ($5.59) per tael over the Monday morning price.

Currently, the price for a tael of gold in the domestic market is roughly VND 100,000 ($5.59) lower than the global price.

In the global market, spot gold and US gold futures both rose as high as $1,000 an ounce, the strongest since February, with both simmering economic worries and longer term inflation concerns driving the gains. But both soon fell back.

Analysts warned volume was thin and that momentum could soon wane, with a tendency of big Asian consumers to sell into rising prices.

They forecast that by the end of the year the gold price would be lower, probably down to around $950 an ounce.

Lao Cai, China’s Yunnan boost tourist cooperation

The north western province of Lao Cai and China’s Yunnan province have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aiming to boost their cooperation in the tourist sector.

Under the four-point MoU, inked on September 8, the two sides agree to work closely to further increase tourist promotion.

They will hold annual meetings to timely solve arising problems that could harm their cooperation.

At their meeting in Sapa district, the two sides’ officials also agreed to assist each other in organising trade fairs, exhibitions – as part of measures to boost cross-border travellers.

They proposed that the two countries’ border-gate agencies should facilitate the cooperation.

On the occasion, the two sides made introduction on their tourist potentials, focusing on famous tourist sites.

Vietnam splashes out on technology

Vietnam ranked 11th out of 133 economies in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) 2009 Index on the amount of money the government spends on technology.

The Vietnamese States expenditure on technology is even higher than that of China , the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom .

The Southeast Asian nation also came 44 th for creativity; 48 th for supporting foreign investment and transferring technology; 51 st for the technological abilities of entrepreneurs and 62 nd for the ratio of private owned computers per 100 people.

However, Vietnam dropped five places to become 75 th in the Competitiveness Index, said the WEF, attributing this to rises in the country’s trade deficit, its rate of inflation and an overheated economy.

The WEF said that big economies including the US , the Republic of Korea , Denmark , the Netherlands and other Southeast Asian nations are in the same boat, with the Philippines falling 16 places in the index.

The WEF’s 2009 Competitiveness Index is based on infrastructure, stability in the macro-economy, institutions, healthcare, primary and tertiary education, vocational training; consumer demand, the labour market; the financial market and business environment; technology; and creative power.

This year’s World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting is scheduled to be held in China from September 10-12.

Vietnam’s corporate bond market warms up

Vietnam’s corporate bond market is showing signs of recovery after a series of local banks announced their plans to issue more bonds from now through early next year.

Noteworthy are plans by Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SacomBank) to sell 3 trillion VND (168 million USD) worth of bonds in the third quarter of this year; and Saigon Commercial JS Bank (SCB) with 1 trillion VND worth of convertible bonds in the first quarter of next year.

The market has rebounded since the end of last year with successful issuances of 1 trillion VND worth of bonds by Vinpearl Tourism and Trading Joint Stock Company; 3 trillion VND by Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (Vinashin); 3.5 trillion VND by Electricity of Vietnam Group (EVN) and 700 billion VND by Kinh Bac Urban Development Company.

Corporate bond purchasers are mainly banks and financial organisations who consider their investment in corporate bonds a good channel to disburse capital as they can yield higher interest than governmental bonds, said bank leaders.

As for the enterprises, bond issuance can enable them to take the initiative in using long-term capital while avoiding tight supervision as happens when they borrow.

However, according to the Asian Development Bank’s statistics, the corporate bond market reached only 500 million USD by the end of last year - a modest figure as compared to the total value of circulated governmental bonds of up to 12.4 billion USD.

The Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange’s statistics showed that the monthly average trading value of corporate bonds reach around 200-300 billion VND in comparison with a total of 14 trillion VND in listed bonds.

Vietnam’s Bond Market Association Vice Chairman Le Duc Tho attributed this sluggishness to the solvency of bond issuing enterprises, saying that it is necessary to set up a legal system to protect investors and a mechanism to ensure their money is secure as they pour it in to corporate bonds.

Transparency in bond issuance is also needed to create a more favourable climate for investment, he added.

More businesses allowed to export seafood

The European Commission (EC) has decided to allow an additional 30 Vietnamese seafood processing businesses to export their products to the European Union (EU).

This was announced by Vietnam’s National Agriculture and Fisheries Quality Assurance Directorate (NAFIQAD) on September 8.

According to NAFIQAD, an additional four businesses will be allowed to sell seafood in Japan.

The Republic of Korea and China have also agreed to grant licences to four more Vietnamese businesses in the sector, NAFIQAD added.

The new move increases the total number of businesses exporting seafood to the EU to 330.

Japan has opened its door to almost 450 Vietnamese seafood producers, while China allows products of more than 400 enterprises, Brazil, 60, and Russia, 30.

Vietnam, RoK expand garment cooperation

Vietnam ’s garment industry plays an important role in the Vietnam- RoK economic cooperation and there are many opportunities for its products in the RoK market.

Speaking at the Vietnam-RoK Garment Forum held in Hanoi on September 8, Vice Chairman of the RoK Federation of Textile Industries (RFTI) Myeng Keun, who is also the head of a visiting delegation of RoK garment businesses, highly praised trade cooperation between the two countries in recent years, especially in the garment sector.

In 2008, the RoK was the second largest investor in Vietnam ’s garment sector with 737 million USD, after Taiwan . The country ranked sixth among importers of Vietnamese garment with last year’s import turnover reaching 139 million USD.

In the first six months of the year, despite the strong impact of the global economic crisis, the RoK imported 77 million USD worth of Vietnamese garment and textile products, up 43 percent over the same period last year.

Among 1,500 RoK businesses in Vietnam , 441 operate in the garment sector with big names such as Pangrim, Hansae Vietnam , Han-soll Vietnam and Vina-Korea, helping raise production capacity and diversify products for the Vietnamese garment industry.

“At present, Vietnam and the RoK see a lot of opportunities to strengthen garment cooperation as they are named among the top ten largest garment exporters in the world,” said Lee Seung Ryul, an official from the RoK Ministry of Knowledge Economy.

Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Bui Xuan Khu also spoke highly of the cooperation between the RFTI and the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) and affirmed that his ministry is ready to support the cooperation.

He expressed his wish that RFTI and RoK businesses will continue investing in clothing production and fashion design in Vietnam as well as strengthening cooperation with the Southeast Asian country to export its products to other markets.

At the forum, VITAS and RFTI representatives signed a memorandum of understanding focusing on boosting trade and investment in the sector, removing trade barriers, strengthening cooperation in the framework of the World Trade Organisation and supporting RoK businesses to do business in Vietnam and vice versa.



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