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BUSINESS IN BRIEF 12/6   2010-06-12 - VNN

Property stocks buoy market

Substantial gains by property stocks on the HCM City Stock Exchange yesterday, June 11, helped lift the VN-Index by 0.76 per cent to a close of 504.89 points.

Among blue chips, real estate developer Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAG) rose by 3.2 per cent and Vincom (VIC) climbed by 2.33 per cent, while smaller-cap property stocks like Idico Urban Housing Development and Investment (UIC) hit their ceiling prices.

Investors follow transactions at the SME trading floor in Ha Noi.

Ocean Group (OCG) claimed the position as the most-active share on the southern exchange, with 2.6 million traded, while Friday’s overall volume improved over the previous day’s level to 44.3 million shares, worth a combined VND1.56 trillion (US$82.1 million).

On the Ha Noi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index added 0.74 per cent to end the day at 158.2 points. The value of the day’s trades on the capital city bourse reached VND929.6 billion ($48.9 million) on a volume of 29.6 million shares.

Financial shares like Bao Viet Securities Co (BVS), Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) and Kim Long Securities (KLS) added significant value, helping the HN-Index to a third day of gains, while PetroVietnam Construction (PVX) continued to lead trading with 2.39 million shares changing hands.

An overnight bounce on the Dow Jones, which climbed to over 10,000 points, helped encourage local investors, commented Bao Viet Securities Co analyst Nguyen Duc Thi.

Foreign investors continued to be net buyers on the HCM City market yesterday, picking up a net of 500,000 shares worth a combined VND40.6 billion ($2.1 million). But they became sellers on the Ha Noi market by a net of 56,200 shares, worth a net of VND3.9 billion ($205,263).

US, ASEAN firms bid to boost ties

 The US-ASEAN Business Council is discussing with Government ministers potential partnerships with major US companies to improve and expand Southeast Asian infrastructure.

A council business delegation visited Viet Nam on June 8-10 and held meetings with key officials and domestic business representatives in a mission held annually since Viet Nam joined the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 1997.

The delegation included senior executives from 22 leading firms and was co-led by council president Alexander Feldman and General Electric’s Stuart Dean, who is chairman of the Council’s Viet Nam committee.

"As Viet Nam looks to become more export-driven, opportunities will expand significantly for companies to help upgrade Viet Nam’s existing network of ports railways and other transportation facilities," said Dean.

"Viet Nam has averaged over 7-per-cent economic growth for the past seven years, and improving its infrastructure will help sustain this impressive record," said Feldman, adding that "Viet Nam’s ambitious plans for future development require high-quality foreign investors to succeed, making US companies ideal partners in building Viet Nam for the future."

Feldman was also enthusiastic about Viet Nam’s role in helping develop regional architecture. "As the chair of ASEAN for 2010, Viet Nam has an important opportunity to keep regional goals for economic integration on track," he said. "We’ve been very impressed by the Vietnamese Government’s efforts to advance ASEAN Single Window and e-customs plans."

US companies were also laying the groundwork to help Viet Nam take the next steps in its development, including providing technical training and skills to help Viet Nam develop the human resources it would need to compete in the global marketplace, Dean said.

Chile trade official counsels VN firms

Vietnamese exporters need to constantly pay attention to product quality, a visiting Chilean trade official has said.

Deputy director of the Export Promotion Bureau (ProChile), Carlos Honorato Comandari said on Thursday they needed to be patient and creative, especially in the textile and garment and fashion industries.

He exhorted them to visit Chile to understand customers’ tastes and habits.

Chilean businesses were also interested in the Vietnamese market, he said, adding that several business delegations would visit Viet Nam to look for partners.

A delegation from the seafood industry would visit later this month, followed by wood and fruit and vegetable industry delegations in July and September.

In November a Chilean delegation attending the APEC Summit in Yokohama, Japan, will visit Viet Nam on its way home.

Comandari said Viet Nam was a promising market with established retail systems.

Chilean businesses are interested in selling wine and seafood, especially tuna and abalone. Last year Vietnamese exports to Chile were worth $126 million and imports, $104 million.

During his three-day visit, Comandari held a meeting with representatives of HCM City‘s branch of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The VCCI has helped ProChile explore for business opportunities in Viet Nam by holding business workshops and seminars.

Luksic, a Chilean corporation, has co-operated with ProChile to help 20 Vietnamese entrepreneurs make exploratory trips to Chile.

On Wednesday, Comandari visited the Southern Fruit Research Institute in Tien Giang Province where he expressed Chile’s desire to share its experiences and expertise in good agricultural practice, or GAP, standards.

Biggest cold store in SE Asia opens

Preferred Freezer Services Antara Viet Nam holds a grand opening ceremony for a large cold store in HCM City today.

Construction of the cold-storage facility was completed by the first wholly foreign-owned company licensed to operate cold stores in Viet Nam.

According to industry experts, the 226,500-cu.m freezer is the largest single room cold store in Southeast Asia. The facility began operations on April 1.

It is the first fully automated warehouse in Viet Nam. The leading-edge material handling equipment coupled with inventory warehouse management system provides a cutting-edge facility for local and multinational food companies.

Robotic cranes working in a – 200 C environment ensure superior quality handling without requiring workers in harsh sub-zero conditions.

The 1,670sq.m +5 0C loading dock is the largest of its kind in Viet Nam.

Its oversized truck yard can accommodate 32 trailer trucks. Its 16 loading dock doors equipped with electrical plugs meet customer needs for speed, accuracy and quality.

Preferred Freezer Services of Newark New Jersey is the fifth largest cold store operator in the US and the seventh largest in the world.

Preferred Freezer designs, builds and operates facilities located throughout the US. Facilities are now under construction in China. Viet Nam is Preferred Freezer’s first international operation.

Developer Sacomreal to list in City

Sai Gon Thuong Tin Real Estate Joint Stock Co (Sacomreal) will list shares on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange in July at a reference price of VND50,000 (US$2.65) per share, the company has announced.

Sacomreal chairman Dang Hong Anh said that going public would help the company improve its professionalism and build medium- and long-term financial resources for its real estate development projects.

The company currently has 18 projects in development in HCM City, Da Lat, Hai Phong and Quang Nam Province and is considering such new projects as the $1.6 billion Celadon City development in HCM City, the $497 million Phu Thuan project, and the $141 million Greenfield project.

In addition to office and commercial centres, Sacomreal planned to continue developing residential projects targeted to middle-income homebuyers, Anh said.

"We have targeted to become one of the 10 leading property developers in Viet Nam with annual revenue growth of at least 30 per cent," said Anh, adding that the firm would also invest overseas if it finds appropriate projects.

Sacomreal projects revenue this year of VND1.87 trillion ($98.9 million) and a net profit of VND650 billion ($34.4 million), a whopping 475-per-cent increase over last year. Real estate investments were expected to generate 95 per cent of total revenue.

Sacombank Securities Co, Thang Long Securities Co and HCM City Securities Co have been named consultants for the company’s share listing.

In addition to Sacomreal, a number of other real estate developers are planning listings this year, including Petro Capital and Infrastructure Investment Co (Petroland), Cotec Land and House Investment and Development Co (Cotecland) and Ben Thanh Land.

PM okays Lai Chau hydro-power plant

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has approved the construction of the Lai Chau hydro-power plant in Muong Te District, northern mountainous Lai Chau Province.

Electricity of Viet Nam is the investor of the 1,200MW project, worth VND35.7 trillion (US$1.8 billion), which will begin construction late this year for completion in 2017. The first turbine is scheduled to go online in 2016.

The province’s People’s Committee has been assigned as the investor for the resettlement and compensation project in preparation for plant construction.

According to the Prime Minister Decision No 819/QD-TTg, more than 1,330 households in eight of the province’s communes and one town will be relocated to new areas.

The plant is expected to provide an average 4,670 million kWh annually.

Thai fruit on show in Ha Noi

A display of fresh fruit from Thailand was kicked off in Ha Noi’s Big C supermarket yesterday to show the central and eastern regions’ rambutan, durian, mangosteen, sala, java apple, giava and dried fruit.

The four-day show involves 18 Thailand businesses who want to push their products, particularly in the north, and match exporters with local traders. Thailand office of commercial affairs Chanthaburi director Lertla Nakages said the road show would also buy fruit from Viet Nam.

European firm to build space centre

The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) plans to build a complex in the central city of Da Nang.

The French ambassador to Viet Nam, Jean Francois Girault, unveiled the plan during his meeting with chairman of the Da Nang People’s Committee Tran Van Minh on Monday, according to the Nhan Dan (People) daily.

EADS representatives said the company came to the decision after conducting recent surveys in the city and holding talks with the Vietnamese Air and Anti-Aircraft Force and the Vietnam Airlines.
EADS said it considered the project to be important for long-term co-operation with Viet Nam. Minh applauded EADS’s decision and pledged to do everything possible to make the project a success, which is crucial to Viet Nam’s aerospace industry and socio-economic development in Da Nang.

Dairy company to bolster resources

Joint stock company TH Milk has launched a US$5 million enterprise resource planning programme that will allow the management to maximise resources when it is in place by November.

The software solution is provided by German firm SAP and the hardware by IBM.

TH Milk plans to invest $350 million in the first phase by 2012 out of a total proposed investment of $1.2 billion in farms and processing plants.

It has the country’s biggest dairy farm in Nghe An Province with a herd of more than 4,600 cows. The company plans to almost double the herd this year and increase it to 48,000 by 2012. Last month it began construction of a $148 million dairy processing plant in Nghe An that is expected to be completed next June when it will have a capacity of over 500 million litres a year, according to general director Tran Bao Minh.

Da Nang sets up software association

The Da Nang Software Enterprises Association (DSA) made its debut on Thursday in Da Nang City, targeting a revenue of US$1 billion by 2015.

Association activities include promoting and building the corporate image of software enterprises in Da Nang and central provinces.

It will support its members in the production, business and services sectors, and protect members from unhealthy competition.

The association will take part in major projects in the city and develop 3,000 qualified local staff by 2015.

Two firms win quality awards

Southern An Giang Province yesterday announced that SGS had awarded Global Good Agricultural Practices (Global GAP) certificates to Viet An Joint Stock Company (Anvifish) and the An Giang Aquaculture Breeding Development Centre.

Three domestic firms in the province now meet global GAP standards.

Anvifish applied for GAP certification last year. It has two fish hatcheries occupying a 25-ha area that now meet Global GAP standards The An Giang Aquaculture Breeding Development Centre received Safe Quality Farm (SQF) 1000CM certification for its tra (catfish) hatchery in 2007 following its implementation of a quality management system.

Korean firm takes stake in EPS

Korea Investment and Securities Co will acquire a 49-per-cent stake in Empower Securities Co (EPS), enhancing the latter’s financial capacity, bringing in more Korean investors and offering consulting services to domestic firms that seek to list on Korean or other foreign stock exchanges,

Garment maker Vinatex is currently the leading shareholder in the stock brokerage, with a 22-per-cent stake. After the acquisition, EPS will also increase its charter capital to VND270 billion (US$14.3 million). EPS was established in July 2007 and has 9,000 investor accounts.

Vinamilk acquires F&N VN Foods

Dairy giant Vinamilk (VNM) has acquired F&N Viet Nam Foods Co Ltd from Singapore’s Fraser & Neave Ltd for US$3.8 million, turning it into a fully-owned subsidiary of Vinamilk. A spokesman for the Singapore-based investor said the divestiture of its Viet Nam operation was made with a view to streamlining the company’s food and beverage operations.

Real estate developer consolidates

Ha Noi General Investment Co (SHN) will offload its holdings in Ha Noi Motors Joint Stock Co and Bac Kan Import-Export Joint Stock Co in order to concentrate on its real estate development projects in Ha Noi, including the Tay Mo urban area and Van Minh commercial and residential complex in the city’s Thuong Tin District. SHN currently owns stock in Ha Noi Motors, representing a 35.8-per-cent interest and worth an estimated VND3.58 billion (US$189,418). It holds a 30-per-cent interest of Bac Kan worth over VND1 billion ($55,556).

EVN affiliate to list in HCM City

Power Engineering Consulting Co 1, a subsidiary of Electricity of Viet Nam (EVN), will become the fourth EVN affiliate to list on the HCM City Stock Exchange. In addition to the listing, it will offer additional shares to existing shareholders at a ratio of 10:5.4.

Power Engineering Consulting Co 1 provides design, survey and consultancy services for electricity projects and has projected earnings this year of VND480 billion (US$25.4 million). It also plans to increase charter capital this year from VND100 billion ($5.3 million) to VND174 billion ($9.2 million).

Thai fruit penetrates Vietnamese market

Almost five tonnes of different Thai fruit have been shipped to Vietnam for the ongoing Thai Fruit Exhibition in Hanoi from June 11-14.

The event was organised by the Thai Office of Commercial Affairs in Hanoi, the Chanthaburi province trade office and two Vietnamese businesses. 

The head of the Chanthaburi trade office Lertla Nagages, said that the exhibition not only promotes exports and expands the market share of Thailand’s fruit in Vietnam but also fosters cooperation between the businesses of both countries. 

At the exhibition, consumers have a chance to enjoy many kinds of famous Thai fruit, including rambutan, durian, mangosteen, lichee and guava at a discount of 10 percent compared to Vietnamese fruit and take part in a teaching programme to make Thai fruit-based dishes. 

In addition to this event, annual Made in Thailand Fairs have received a lot of positive feedback from Vietnamese consumers, underscoring the demand for Thai products in Vietnam.

Polypropylene plant conducts trial run

After three years of construction, the polypropylene plant in the Dung Quat Economic Zone in the Central province of Quang Ngai began a trial run on June 11.

Nguyen Hoai Giang, general director of the Binh Son Oil Refinery Ltd Company, said that the first patch of the thermoplastic polymer will come out.

The Vietnam’s biggest and most modern Polypropylene plant was built on an area of 15ha with a designed capacity of 150,000 tonnes of products per year, at a cost of US$232 million by the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group.

When it is put into operation, propylene output will be taken from the Dung Quat Oil Refinery Plant. The plan will sell more than 60,000 tonnes of propylene to Japan’s Marubeni Group in the initial period.

First 75,000 tonne ship docks at Cai Lan port

The first 75,000-tonne ship, the Panamax-M/V Kavo Alkyon, docked at Cai Lan port in Ha Long City, Quang Ninh province on June 11.

The event marked the 10th anniversary of co-operation between the Quang Ninh Port Company and the US Bunge group –a world leading group in animal feed.

The Kavo Alkyon loaded around 33,000 tonnes of feed in safe and convenient conditions. It is estimated that Bunge group’s output via Cai Lan port will reach 1 million tonnes per year by 2014.

Currently, loading capacity at Cai Lai port is 28,500 tonnes per day, including 5,300 tonnes of animal feed.

Cai Lan is a deep water port which can receive 40,000-70,000DWT ships.

Japanese firm to produce industrial cables in Vietnam

Japan’s Hitachi Cable Ltd. will begin producing industrial cables at a Vietnamese plant as early as fiscal 2012, making the country its core base in the Southest Asian region.

The company is constructing a 10,000 sq. meter plant in the northern province of Hai Duong, the Japanese daily Nikkei reported, adding that production equipment is now being installed in a building that will produce wiring for equipment. 

Hitachi Cable plans to invest 3-4 billion JPY (US$43,600) to add a building dedicated to industrial cable production at the site. The new building is slated to be placed into service in fiscal 2012. Cables produced there will be exported to Southeast Asia, China and Japan . 

By fiscal 2020, the company aims to boost sales from the Vietnamese facility to 10 billion JPY from a projected 3.5 billion JPY in fiscal 2012, the Nikkei reported.

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