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Vietnam-China technology fair to open in Lang Son   2008-06-24 - VNA

Vietnam-China technology fair to open in Lang Son

The 2008 Vietnam-China Technology and Equipment Fair is scheduled to open in the northern border province of Lang Son on August 31.

The four-day fair will feature 300 booths, with one-third coming from China, showcasing latest technology, equipment, software solutions and auxiliary products and services.

According to Director of the National Scientific and Technological Information Centre Ta Ba Hung at a press briefing in Hanoi on June 24, technology and equipment on show are used mainly in the fields of agro-forestry and fishery production and processing, mineral exploitation and processing, mechanical manufacture, automation, information technology and telecommunications.

The event is expected to boost the linkage between research and training with production, trade and market development, contributing to promoting socio-economic development of border provinces.

Conferences and exchanges on science and technology supporting socio-economic development of border provinces of Vietnam and China will be held on the sidelines of the fair.

Vinacomin to buy coal from Indonesia

The Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin) has recently signed a framework contract to buy 3.5 million tonnes of coal from Indonesia ’s PT Berau company and Indonesia-based Maintime company of Hong Kong .

The group said the coal will be used for the Vinh Tan 1 thermal power plant, which is part of the Vinh Tan power complex designed to have a capacity of 4,400 MW in southern Binh Thuan province.

Early June, Vinacomin officials met with representatives from the PT Berau, Oxbow Coal, Siam Cement Trading, Sojitz and Cincor Coal in Indonesia to inquire into opportunities to import coal.

Vinacomin said the import of coal is getting more difficult due to increases in both coal demands and prices in the world market.

In addition to the negotiations with Indonesian coal traders, Vinacomin sent officials to Australia to seek coal import contracts for local thermal power plants.

Ministry targets industrialised fishery

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has set a target of developing fishery into a modern industry, ensuring both social security and national sovereignty over territorial waters.

In a recent plan of action to implement the Vietnam Sea Strategy until 2020, the ministry urged fishery businesses to work out long-term planning and restructure sea- and island-based production, with focus placed on both offshore fishing and coastal aquaculture.

Coastal provinces and cities nationwide were advised to build effective sea-based production models that combine exploitation, aquaculture, logistics services, and product sales.

The plan of action also pointed to the need to develop a strong fishery group in the near future to meet economic reform requirements, and expand regional and international cooperation in fishery trading and management to ensure that the sector develop in line with the country’s national and security defence.

Bumper harvests allow nation to boost rice exports

With bumper rice harvests of both the winter-spring and early summer-autumn crops, rice exporters have rushed to sign contracts with foreign clients following the Prime Minister’s recent guidelines.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has expected the rice output of the two harvests to reach 37 million tonnes, an increase of over 1 million tonnes over last year.

The on-going winter-spring harvest is likely to gather between 6.2 and 6.4 million tonnes for the northern region while farmers in the Mekong Delta are harvesting on 400,000 ha of early summer-autumn rice crops with an average yield of 5.5 tonnes per ha.

MARD said supplies have therefore been good enough for the nation to export over 4.5 million tonnes of rice after ensuring food security this year.

The Prime Minister on June 19 allowed enterprises to sign more contracts to export 3.5 million tonnes of rice for the first three quarters of the year or an additional of 1.2 - 1.3 million tonnes in the next three months.

Under the Prime Minister’s guideline, rice businesses have instantly reached deals with foreign clients to increase exports. They said the shipments on the new contracts will be delivered between July and September.

Despite a decrease in rice prices in the world market due to bumper harvests worldwide, the global demand gives no sign of relief, making Vietnam still cash in on its exports at this moment, reported the Food Association.

The World Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) predicted that rice prices would continue to rise and hit a peak in 2009. The trend would abate and become stable during the 2010-17 period.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Thanh Bien said the ministry would consider a plan to ask for the Prime Minister’s permission for more exports in the rest of the year.

He however added that the scheme would be considered only if the domestic food situation looks bright after the nation fulfils the target of 3.5 million tonnes of rice exports by the end of the third quarter.

Vietnam’s biggest tourism portal makes debut

Vietnam ’s biggest tourism information portal was officially operational on June 23 at .

The website helps clients from both inside and outside the country make online reservations for hotel accommodation, book tours, air tickets and process online payment.

Launched by the Online Tourism Services Company, the portal receives 39 percent of its capital from the Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group.

GE Money Vietnam to operate in domestic market

The State Bank of Vietnam has granted a licence to GE Money Vietnam to start operating in domestic markets.

The company can now issue promissory notes, bonds and other valuable papers, as well as receive trustee capital from local and overseas organisations.

GE will also offer credit cards and loans, and act as a consultant on asset management, banking and other financial matters. GE Money Vietnam, located in HCM City’s Saigon Centre, has a charter capital of 300 billion VND (18.2 million USD).

Saigontourist accepts official rate

Saigontourist said its Vietnamese tourists can pay for tickets priced in US dollar at the listed foreign-exchange instead of at the blackmarket rate.

Doan Thanh Tra, manager of the company’s marketing department, said this would ensure customers’ rights as the free-market fluctuated.

Saigontourist has been recognised as one of the best travel firms in Vietnam . Last year, it had a turnover of more than 674 billion VND (40.8 million USD).

Japanese brokerage sets up shop in Vietnam

The Japanese Daiwa Securities SMBC Company opened up a representative office in Hanoi on June 23.

The office will link the local stock exchange with overseas investment organisations, and assist domestic companies with floatation on the stock markets and in raising money in overseas markets.

Daiwa SMBC’s parent company is a joint venture between Japan-based Daiwa Securities and the Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group.

Deutsche Bank raises stake in Vinamilk

Deutsche Bank has bought 221,580 more shares in the Vietnam Dairy Product Company (Vinamilk), raising its stake in the company to 6 percent of Vinamilk’s charter capital. The German bank now owns 10.51 million Vinamilk shares.

In the first five months of this year, Vinamilk made 617 billion VND (37.4 million USD) in pre-tax profits, a year-on-year increase of 28.27 percent.

VN-Index begins the week with a rise

The VN-Index on the first day of the week beat investors’ forecast of another decline, increasing 2.93 points, or 0.8 percent, to close at 368.95.

Liquidity improved considerably with about 9.78 million shares traded at a total value of 249 billion VND (15 million USD).

The Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange witnessed 69 gainers on the day. Sacombank (STB) was the most active with more than 2.7 million shares changing hands, followed by Saigon Securities Inc (SSI) with 770,000 shares traded.

Shares with high capitalisation values including Vinamilk (VNM), Cables and Telecom Materials Joint Stock Co (SAM) and Thu Duc Housing Development Corporation (TDH) were among the gainers, contributing to the day’s upward trend.

Investors, however, still hesitated to buy in as the market’s short-term trends remained uncertain. Foreign investor transactions were modest, with 811,000 shares and fund certificates bought and 731,000 units sold.

Hanoi Securities Company said in a report that investors’ unstable psychology was hindering chances for a market recovery. “With such psychology, its difficult to determine the bottom of the market in the short term.”

“Putting regulations related to the trading band aside, we see that the VN-Index is fluctuating around a psychologically-determined mark of 350-360 points. If trading volume increased strongly and with stability in this week... then for the moment we can be confident in this mark,” the report said.

Bui Tien Huy from IRS Securities Company’s Investment Analysis Department said, “given last week’s trading and current investor psychology, it will be difficult for the VN-Index to maintain the 350 point mark.”

“Share prices will fall to more attractive levels,” said Huy. “Investors should follow market developments closely right now, as many good shares are now available at prices which are very reasonable for long-term investment.”

Late last week, the market received optimistic news about the economy.

The State Bank of Vietnam announced a foreign exchange reserve of 20.7 billion USD, an amount it said would be able cover any financial deficits.

The basic index of the economy in the first half of the year was announced to be good, with foreign direct investment for the first six months at 31.6 billion USD, export value at 29.7 billion USD for a year-on-year increase of 31.8 percent and the trade deficit falling to 1.3 billion USD in June compared to 2.85 billion USD in May.

On the northern market, the HASTC-Index increased a slight 0.08 points, or 0.07 percent, to close at 110.48. Trading volume reached about 7.17 million shares at a total value of more than 160 billion VND (9.7 million USD).

One more heavy tonnage ship gets launched

The Nam Trieu Shipping Corporation, Nasico, in the northern port city of Haiphong , on June 22 successfully launched a 53,000 tonne freighter, which it has built for a British customer.

The freshly-launched Handymax is 190 m long, 32 m wide and 17.5 m high. It has an engine capacity of 9,480 kW designed by the Carl Bro company of Denmark and was built under the examination by the DNV of Norway.

It has a double steel cover capable of preventing saline water from soaking into its holds just in case. Its five stories of holds can contain 66,700 cu.m of cargo.

It is the fourth 53,000 tonne freight that Nasico has built so far. It will be followed by Nasico’s contract with the Petroleum Technique Service Company (PTSC) to build a 150,000 tonne oil tanker.

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