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BUSINESS IN BRIEF 20/7   2010-07-20 - VietNamNet/VNA

HCM City’s CPI declines slightly in July


Ho Chi Minh City’s consumer price index (CPI) in July fell by 0.09 percent over the previous month, the first decrease since November 2009, said Du Quang Nam, Director of the city’s Statistics Office.


The index rose 8.71 percent over the same period last year and 4.78 percent since the beginning of the year.


Transport services saw the sharpest CPI fall of 1.05 percent, followed by housing, electricity, water and construction materials with 0.44 percent and post and telecom services with 0.15 percent.


Meanwhile, several other commodity groups still increased in prices, including restaurant services, foodstuff, drinks and cigarettes, garments and footwear, household utensils, pharmaceuticals and health services.


In July, the price of gold increased by 1.83 percent and the US dollar was up 0.43 percent over last month.


IDG to open two more capital funds in Vietnam


In the next two years the US-based International Data Group (IDG) will open two more venture capital funds in Vietnam with a total capital of 400 million USD, to invest in the information technology sector.


In an interview with the Vietnam Economic Times on July 19, IDG Chairman Patrick J.McGovern said that with an annual growth rate of 20 percent, Vietnam ’s IT and telecoms market is considered one of the best and most attractive investment destinations. That is why IDG will set up more venture capital funds in the country.


In 2011, IDG will start a 150 million USD capital fund, focusing on newly-established companies which have the potential to develop in the future but are having difficulties raising capital.


In 2012, it will create another fund with 250 million USD in capital, to invest in companies that have been operational for two years and have established trademarks in the market. This fund will also invest in other fields such as health care and retail services.


Currently, IDG owns a venture capital fund named IDG Ventures Vietnam, which was established in 2004.


According to Nguyen Bao Hoang, the Managing General Partner of IDG Ventures Vietnam, the fund’s initial capital of 100 million USD has been invested in private firms operating in telecommunications, communications and technology. The company has seen an annual growth rate of 38 percent, he added.


India to slap anti-dumping duty on Vietnam DVDs


India is poised to impose an anti-dumping duty on recordable DVDs imported from Vietnam, citing predatory pricing.


India’s Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties made a final finding on July 2 that Vietnamese exporters were selling recordable discs, including DVD-R and DVD-RW discs, below normal prices, setting the stage for an imposition of duties.


The anti-dumping duty would be imposed three months after this final finding, according to Vietnam’s Competition Administration Department.


The dumping margin for the products was set at 64.09 percent, subjecting the products to a tariff of 50.51 USD for each 1,000 units.


An anti-dumping investigation on recordable discs originating from Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia was initiated in May 2009 on the recommendation of India’s Optical Disc Manufactures Welfare Association.


The Indian watchdog group has decided to impose a duty of 35.92 USD per 1,000 units on Malaysian products and 25.98 USD per 1,000 units on Thai products.


Ritek Vietnam Co Ltd was the only Vietnamese exporter to collaborate with the authorities during the investigation process. The company will have to pay a duty of only 29.75 USD per 1,000 units.


"Only Vietnam has a separate tariff rate for an enterprise," said a representative of the Competition Administration Department, emphasising the importance of enterprises co-operating with authorities during these investigations. "This can help them get more favourable decision," she said.


While the duty would affect Vietnamese DVD exports to India, exporters could still restructure their export markets to minimise the impact, she added.


Vietnamese companies exported nearly 57.6 million discs to India in 2008-09, accounting for 12.1 percent of market share in the country.


This is the fourth anti-dumping case in which India has ruled against Vietnamese products since Vietnam joined the World Trade Organisation in 2007. India imposed anti-dumping tariffs on recordable compact discs (CD-R) and compact fluorescent lamps bulbs from Vietnam in 2008 and on cotton fabric in 2009.


Nation’s first private credit rating agency launches in Hanoi


Vietnam’s first private credit information company, the PCB, officially began providing services yesterday with more than 20 banks committing to supply information.


On the day of its launch, the company also signed a strategic partnership agreement with Italian CRIF SpA Group.


The company was established by the Private Credit Bureau Investment Joint Stock Company (PCB). Its total charter capital of 50 billion VND (2.7 million USD) was contributed by 11 Vietnamese commercial banks including ACB, ABBank, Vietinbank, BIDV, Southeast Asia Bank, Techcombank, Vietcombank, SB, VIB, Vietbank and VPBank.


Le Thi Kim Nga, president of PCB’s management board, said the banks contributed 70 percent of charter capital, while the Italian group owns 20 percent. The remainder will be contributed by other strategic partners.


The company is expected to supply highly credible credit information about individuals and organisations.


It will also help small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the private sector access credit quickly and easily.


CRIF will provide experts and technical systems to the PCB to help the company become Vietnam ’s first international-standard private credit information company.


Nga said the country had a population of more than 86 million and over 480,000 SMEs.


"However, only 5 percent of the population and 30 percent of the SMEs have engaged in credit transactions with banks. This is a low rate in the region, as the rates in Thailand and Malaysia are 70 to 80 percent," she said.


She added that a lack of reliable information made it impossible for credit organisations to provide credit and manage their customers. CRIF was established in 1988 and is currently managing credit information centres in Italy, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.


Under Government Decree 10/2010/ND-CP, a private credit centre can only be established when at least 20 banks pledge to provide credit information to the centre.


Therefore, Vietnam, with 51 commercial banks, can only have a maximum of two centres excluding SBV’s Credit Information Centre (CIC).


Vietnam shipping lines make world top 100


AXS-Alphaliner, an information platform that calls itself a "worldwide reference in liner shipping", has ranked two Vietnamese shipping companies in the list of 100 leading container shipping lines in the world.


The Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) and Bien Dong Shipping Company were ranked 67 and 68, respectively.


APM-Maersk topped the list with 540 container vessels totaling 2.05 million TEU.


AXS-Alphaliner says its top 100 "provides a constantly updated ranking of the 100 largest container or liner operators as well as global capacity figures taking into account the fleets of virtually all container operators worldwide.


Securities market urged to restructure


The securities market must be restructured to become more modern and professional if it is to continue to develop, says Minister of Finance Vu Van Ninh.


The security of the market needed to be increased over the next decade along with the competitiveness of intermediary institutions and the capacity of official watchdogs and law enforcement, Ninh said. Information technology applied to transaction and market management must also be modernised, he said.


With higher quality and more diverse products leading to greater liquidity, the stock market would become a major channel for generating capital for economic growth, Ninh said.


Stock market capitalisation has jumped from 986 billion VND (51.9 million USD) at the end of the market’s first year of operation in 2000 – equal to 0.28 percent of GDP to 695.2 trillion VND (36.6 billion USD) now – equivalent to 42 percent of GDP, according to the State Securities Commission.


The market has developed in quantity, said commission chairman Vu Bang, growing from 3,000 investors accounts in 2000 to 926,000 currently, while investor knowledge of securities has also been improved.


The domestic stock markets have attracted 7 billion USD in foreign indirect investment, helping stabilise foreign exchange rates, he added.


“After 10 years of development, most investors and financial institutions have developed stably and firmly. The staff and managers of the stock market are skilled and professional guys,” said Securities Trading Association general secretary Nguyen Thanh Ky, “But the market would develop further if transparency was improved and financial reporting more timely.”


Investors need a basis for lucid and professional decision - making in their trading, he said.


PetroVietnam steps up electric cooperation with RoK company


The Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) signed a series of memorandum of understanding on cooperation in power projects with the Pohang Iron and Steel Company (POSCO) of the  Republic  of  Korea  (RoK) in   Hanoi   on July 19. 


Addressing the ceremony, POSCO’s representative said the group hopes to cooperate with PetroVietnam in developing available power projects to ensure stable electricity provision.  


Besides a number of new power projects POSCO has drawn up in Vietnam, the group wishes to expand its investment in steel production in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, the representative said, adding that POSCO is now running a cold rolled steel factory in the province. 


The cooperation will effectively help the two groups in setting up, operating and managing POSCO’s power projects, the RoK group said.  


As the investor, PetroVietnam is calling for foreign cooperation in five thermo-electric projects worth 6 billion USD, with a total capacity of 6,000 MW, including Thai Binh 2, Song Hau 1, Vung Ang 1, Long Phu 1 and Quang Trach 1.

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