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BUSINESS IN BRIEF 4/1   2011-01-04 - Viet Nam Net

Farmers guaranteed minimum price for rice

 

The Vietnam Food Association has promised to ensure that farmers get at least VND5,000 (US$0.25) for a kilogram of paddy.

 

Truong Thanh Phong, its chairman, told Tuoi Tre that this can be guaranteed, especially since Vietnam has signed a contract to export 600,000 tons of rice in the first two months of this year.

 

At this price, farmers can make a 40 percent profit, he said.

 

He projected global rice prices to rise in the next few months since demand is forecast to rise 3 percent while food production will probably fall by 3 percent.

 

To stabilize the prices and ensure profits for farmers, the VFA has advised its members to buy all the paddy harvested in the Mekong Delta, where harvest of the winter-spring crop has started.

 

Phong said the 117 members will buy 1 million tons of rice without waiting for the government’s orders before there is any decline in demand since that could drag prices down.


 

Textile and garment sector confident in export figures
 
Favourable export contracts are to allow the textile and garment sector to reap $12.5 billion of export value in 2011, jumping 15-17 per cent against last year.

According to a Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (Vitas) report, many businesses have signed weighty export contracts to mid 2011.

Southern Dong Nai-based Dong Tien Joint Stock Company (Dovitec) clinched export contracts up to November 2011 and its deputy director Nguyen Van Hoang said the company would be more prudent in selecting export orders due to banks’ high lending rates to mitigate risks.

“With more export contracts, we have wider choice in both product structure and price terms to raise the products’ added value,” Hoang said.

In 2010, Dovitec raked in more than VND300 billion ($15 million) in export revenue, a 30 per cent rise against 2009 and up 15 per cent over the year’s projection.

Similarly, northern Hung Yen-based Tien Hung Joint Stock Company had inked export contracts for the first half of 2011.

“The company has signed orders to produce trousers, shorts and jackets for export to the US and the EU,” said general director Cao Manh Cuong, adding that the company expected a jump of 15-20 per cent in 2011’s export value against 2010 figure of over $9 million which was 20 per cent more than 2009’s.

Like Dovitec and Tien Hung garment companies, southern Dong Nai Garment Joint Stock Company (Donagamex) had signed export contracts to mid 2011.

Its general director Bui The Kich said: “Businesses will be in a dilemma if the cost of raw materials augmented to a higher level than it was at the time the export contracts were signed unless they reach specific contract terms with importers.”

Aware of the situation, from late 2010 textile and garment companies proposed foreign importers share risks and export contracts would be upwardly revised on the back of soaring raw material costs.

Vietnam’s textile and garment sector set a $12.5 billion export value target for 2011, 15-17 per cent higher than 2010. Industry specialists viewed the target as reasonable but also warned that higher exports would lead to rising imports as the sector was still dependent on imported raw materials.

Ministry of Industry and Trade figures showed that $8.9 billion was poured into importing raw garment materials and accessories in 2010 against $11 billion in the sector’s export value.

 

E-customs to benefit businesses’ operations
 
Promoting e-customs is a key task in 2011 to help accelerate administrative reforms and boost service efficiency.

Deputy head of the General Department of Customs (GDC) reform division Nguyen Manh Tung said administrative reforms and e-customs promotion were essential to slash customs clearance times.

Accordingly, the sector will work on promoting e-customs in 18 out of 33 customs departments across the country from just 13 departments by November 30, 2010 and applying e-customs to all kinds of goods. Besides, up to 80 per cent of total import export value and half of total import export declarations would involve e-customs procedures.

Notably, southern Binh Duong Customs Department recommended a fresh e-clearance model, the first of its kind in Vietnam with the potential to be replicated in other departments in the future. The model would reduce direct contacts between customs officers and businesses while pushing up specialisation and professionalism in customs checks.

The GDC said the model would help streamline the sector’s work assignment and boost the service quality.

Deputy minister of Finance Do Hoang Anh Tuan urged the GDC to establish regional-level data processing centres by promoting cooperation between customs departments in particular regions, then striving to build a national data processing centre.

In 2010, the customs sector posted striking achievements in administrative reforms. It is one of four sectors leading the country in an administrative procedure simplification drive through paring down over 30 per cent of the sector’s administrative procedures.

GDC head Nguyen Ngoc Tuc said the customs sector significantly shortened the time for customs clearance in 2010. Survey results reflected that the time for customs procedures clearance at seaports was shortened to 7.78 days in 2010, 7 per cent lower than in 2004.

The success came from its strenuous efforts to push e-customs. Accordingly, it is now required three to 15 minutes for green channel declarations to pass customs clearance procedures and 30-45 minutes for yellow channel declarations. For green channel declarations, businesses now have no need to come to customs offices to submit procedures as previously.

By November 30, 2010 the GDC applied e-customs in 13 departments with 70 bureaus, 35 fold more than in 2009. Similarly, more than 254,000 declarations and $27.9 billion worth in import -export value dealt with e-customs procedures, about 13 times and 14 times more than in 2009, respectively. Around 2,500 businesses had gone through e-customs checks, about 6 times more than 2009.

CBUs now the way to go?

In late December 2010, Taiwan’s Yulon Group shipped the first batch of dozens of its Luxgen multi-purpose vehicles (MPV) to Vietnam.

The seven-seat Luxgen vehicles are fully assembled in Taiwan and were introduced for the first time in Vietnam Auto & Petrol Expo 2010 in Ho Chi Minh City last June.

According to Luxgen chief K.C. Hu, Vietnam offered a great opportunity for the firm to further showcase its brand positioning in South East Asia.

The company is also working to develop its distribution channels for Luxgens in overseas markets like Vietnam, American nations and the Middle East.

Under Vietnam’s commitments in the Common Effective Preferential Tariff (CEPT) scheme for the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement, the country will have to cut import tariffs on complete built unit (CBU) vehicles to zero per cent by 2018.

The Ministry of Finance recently announced that in 2011, the import tariff on some CBU cars would go down from 77-83 to 72-82 per cent.

Notable car firms in Vietnam for years have promoted CBU imports into the country.

In late December 2010, Nissan Vietnam Co. Ltd, a joint venture between Nissan Motor Company of Japan and Tan Chong Motor Holdings Berhad of Malaysia, introduced the five-seat premium sports utility truck Nissan Navara in Vietnam, which will be then sold by the entire Nissan nationwide dealership network.

The company has also planned to introduce some other imported models in 2011 in Vietnam.

Toyota Vietnam and Mercedes Vietnam are pioneering the importing of CBU cars for domestic sale.

Especially, Toyota Vietnam has stopped assembling Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles in Vietnam to focus on selling CBU imports.

Toyota Vietnam’s president Akito Tachiban said the company was importing Hilux pick-up trucks from Thailand and Land Cruisers from Japan for sale in Vietnam.

Local car-makers said Vietnam would not have much time to 2018 to upgrade domestic production and cut tariffs. Many of them have already revealed plans to import cars instead of making them in Vietnam.

“The action [import tax cut] will create a negative effect on the car-makers because we have made plans for production and business based on the CEPT commitments. At present, due to the low competitiveness of Vietnam’s car industry and the low developed supporting industry, CEPT roadmap should be clear so that we can have long-term strategy and plan for stable development in Vietnam,” Tachibana told VIR. “Therefore, step-by-step, the reduction is required to help local industry have some lead-time to comply with CBU competition and also to reduce trade deficit.”

Honda Vietnam, one of the manufacturers whose cars have the highest local content, announced that it would import the medium class Honda Accord to sell in Vietnam from 2011.

To date, Honda Vietnam has been assembling a sedan model, Civic and a five-seat CR-V MPV sports car at its factory in Vietnam.

In 2010, Vietnam imported 53,140 CBUs worth $959 million. Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association members are expected to sell more than 100,000 vehicles to the domestic market this year.

E-customs to benefit businesses’ operations
 
Promoting e-customs is a key task in 2011 to help accelerate administrative reforms and boost service efficiency.

Deputy head of the General Department of Customs (GDC) reform division Nguyen Manh Tung said administrative reforms and e-customs promotion were essential to slash customs clearance times.

Accordingly, the sector will work on promoting e-customs in 18 out of 33 customs departments across the country from just 13 departments by November 30, 2010 and applying e-customs to all kinds of goods. Besides, up to 80 per cent of total import export value and half of total import export declarations would involve e-customs procedures.

Notably, southern Binh Duong Customs Department recommended a fresh e-clearance model, the first of its kind in Vietnam with the potential to be replicated in other departments in the future. The model would reduce direct contacts between customs officers and businesses while pushing up specialisation and professionalism in customs checks.

The GDC said the model would help streamline the sector’s work assignment and boost the service quality.

Deputy minister of Finance Do Hoang Anh Tuan urged the GDC to establish regional-level data processing centres by promoting cooperation between customs departments in particular regions, then striving to build a national data processing centre.

In 2010, the customs sector posted striking achievements in administrative reforms. It is one of four sectors leading the country in an administrative procedure simplification drive through paring down over 30 per cent of the sector’s administrative procedures.

GDC head Nguyen Ngoc Tuc said the customs sector significantly shortened the time for customs clearance in 2010. Survey results reflected that the time for customs procedures clearance at seaports was shortened to 7.78 days in 2010, 7 per cent lower than in 2004.

The success came from its strenuous efforts to push e-customs. Accordingly, it is now required three to 15 minutes for green channel declarations to pass customs clearance procedures and 30-45 minutes for yellow channel declarations. For green channel declarations, businesses now have no need to come to customs offices to submit procedures as previously.

By November 30, 2010 the GDC applied e-customs in 13 departments with 70 bureaus, 35 fold more than in 2009. Similarly, more than 254,000 declarations and $27.9 billion worth in import -export value dealt with e-customs procedures, about 13 times and 14 times more than in 2009, respectively. Around 2,500 businesses had gone through e-customs checks, about 6 times more than 2009.


Rough road ahead for labour exporters

Many industry specialists forecasted that 2011 would be a year of hardships for Vietnam’s labour export.

Taiwan currently tops the list of nations accepting Vietnamese labourers. However, bringing Vietnamese workers to this market represents a challenge due to tough broker fees. Each export worker must pay broker fees of up to $6,000-$7,000. But, their future incomes will only be around VND6-7 million ($307-$358) per month.

Meanwhile, no breakthrough was expected in the Japanese and South Korean markets. Each year Japan received 4,000 Vietnamese labourers, while South Korea has set increasingly stringent requirements about Korean language proficiency and qualifications, said the Overseas Labour Centre deputy director Vu Minh Xuyen.

The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs-backed centre monitors a programme bringing Vietnamese labourers to work in South Korea.

Labour Export Association deputy chairman Nguyen Xuan An told VIR big efforts were required to maintain existing markets. Deputy chairman of the National Assembly’s Social Affairs Committee Dang Nhu Loi said: “The quality of labour export services and labourers’ benefits in recipient countries are more important.”

Vietnam brought 75,850 labourers to work abroad in the first 11 months of 2010, more than 85 per cent of the year’s plan, according to the Overseas Labour Management Department. The department’s figures also show that Taiwan topped the list of Vietnamese labourers’ recipient markets with 25,647 workers, followed by Malaysia with more than 9,000, South Korea 7,693, the Middle East over 7,000, Japan 4,215, Cambodia and Libya approximately 4,000 each.

Bac Ninh’s golf course swing

Bac Ninh People’s Committee has just submitted a proposal to the government to add Hap Linh golf course into the Golf Course Development Plan of Vietnam to 2020.

Vu Duc Quyet, director of Bac Ninh Industrial Zone Management Board - in charge of the project’s management, told VIR there was a real need for entertainment facilities to serve foreign and high-end customers in this northern province. Bac Ninh is home to many projects invested by high-profile foreign companies like Canon, Foxconn, Orion and Samsung with 1,000 foreigners working in the area.

“They require us to have entertainment facilities as they face traffic jams when travelling to Hanoi for leisure during the weekend. Our mission is to keep them in the province in the coming time,” Quyet said.

Hap Linh is one of the two golf course projects which Bac Ninh cancelled following the government’s decision in 2009 to axe unnecessary golf course projects.

“In recent years, we [province] have been focusing on promoting industrial production. Now we must plan facilities to serve the industrial investors,” he said.

The golf course will be combined with a residential area for foreigners. Located in Tien Du district’s Hap Linh commune, the 200 hectare project would need more than $100 million investment capital. “We will give the project to a domestic investor who could call on other foreign and domestic investors to join,” Quyet said.

He said the province believed this project would not face difficulties in mobilising investment capital.

According to the nation’s golf course development plan to 2020 approved in November 2009, by 2020 Vietnam will have 98 golf courses, out of 166 projects approved by local authorities previously.

Bac Ninh is one of the two provinces which cancelled all of its proposed golf course projects. The other province is Thai Nguyen with one project. Other localities such as Hanoi, Phu Tho, Vinh Phuc, Quang Ninh, Thua Thien-Hue, Long An and Quang Nam have reduced the number of their golf course projects.

Many industry specialists forecasted that 2011 would be a year of hardships for Vietnam’s labour export.

Taiwan currently tops the list of nations accepting Vietnamese labourers. However, bringing Vietnamese workers to this market represents a challenge due to tough broker fees. Each export worker must pay broker fees of up to $6,000-$7,000. But, their future incomes will only be around VND6-7 million ($307-$358) per month.

Meanwhile, no breakthrough was expected in the Japanese and South Korean markets. Each year Japan received 4,000 Vietnamese labourers, while South Korea has set increasingly stringent requirements about Korean language proficiency and qualifications, said the Overseas Labour Centre deputy director Vu Minh Xuyen.

The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs-backed centre monitors a programme bringing Vietnamese labourers to work in South Korea.

Labour Export Association deputy chairman Nguyen Xuan An told VIR big efforts were required to maintain existing markets. Deputy chairman of the National Assembly’s Social Affairs Committee Dang Nhu Loi said: “The quality of labour export services and labourers’ benefits in recipient countries are more important.”

Vietnam brought 75,850 labourers to work abroad in the first 11 months of 2010, more than 85 per cent of the year’s plan, according to the Overseas Labour Management Department. The department’s figures also show that Taiwan topped the list of Vietnamese labourers’ recipient markets with 25,647 workers, followed by Malaysia with more than 9,000, South Korea 7,693, the Middle East over 7,000, Japan 4,215, Cambodia and Libya approximately 4,000 each.

Bac Ninh’s golf course swing

Bac Ninh People’s Committee has just submitted a proposal to the government to add Hap Linh golf course into the Golf Course Development Plan of Vietnam to 2020.

Vu Duc Quyet, director of Bac Ninh Industrial Zone Management Board - in charge of the project’s management, told VIR there was a real need for entertainment facilities to serve foreign and high-end customers in this northern province. Bac Ninh is home to many projects invested by high-profile foreign companies like Canon, Foxconn, Orion and Samsung with 1,000 foreigners working in the area.

“They require us to have entertainment facilities as they face traffic jams when travelling to Hanoi for leisure during the weekend. Our mission is to keep them in the province in the coming time,” Quyet said.

Hap Linh is one of the two golf course projects which Bac Ninh cancelled following the government’s decision in 2009 to axe unnecessary golf course projects.

“In recent years, we [province] have been focusing on promoting industrial production. Now we must plan facilities to serve the industrial investors,” he said.

The golf course will be combined with a residential area for foreigners. Located in Tien Du district’s Hap Linh commune, the 200 hectare project would need more than $100 million investment capital. “We will give the project to a domestic investor who could call on other foreign and domestic investors to join,” Quyet said.

He said the province believed this project would not face difficulties in mobilising investment capital.

According to the nation’s golf course development plan to 2020 approved in November 2009, by 2020 Vietnam will have 98 golf courses, out of 166 projects approved by local authorities previously.

Bac Ninh is one of the two provinces which cancelled all of its proposed golf course projects. The other province is Thai Nguyen with one project. Other localities such as Hanoi, Phu Tho, Vinh Phuc, Quang Ninh, Thua Thien-Hue, Long An and Quang Nam have reduced the number of their golf course projects.

 

Vietnam plans to export 6 million tons rice for 2011  
 
Vietnam will export at least 6 million tons rice for 2011, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Vietnam has exported 6.7 million tons rice, surpassing the 6.5-million-ton rice export target this year, yielding US$3.23 billion. Vietnam achieved for the first time over US$3 billion from rice export.  

For 2011, the ministry has just set target of 6 million tons because it wanted to ensure food security for people in the country. If the weather and all factors are favorable for bumper crop, the country would export more than its 6 million ton target, especially for competitive markets.

Exporters announced they have had orders for the first quarter of 2011. 

 

Developers shun public houses

 

A huge shortfall in housing for public servants persists in both Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi though a slew of projects kicked off four years ago.

 

Analysts expect more than 22,000 out of 148,000 public servants and armed forces personnel in HCMC to apply for buying or renting houses by 2015.

 

However, the Department of Construction said only 4,500 will be able to buy public housing while the rest will be offered low-cost houses.

 

According to regulations, people working for government departments or the armed forces for at least three years and living in a leased house are eligible buy a public house.

 

Statistics from the Department show 8,300 public houses were built in HCMC in the last five years at more than VND422 billion (US$21 million), but only 84 have been sold.

 

Buyers have to make a down payment of 20 percent of the cost and pay the rest in installments over 15-20 years.

 

The Department expects more than 6,500 public housing projects with 22,400 units to be completed in the next five years.

 

Hanoi has only four public housing projects under way, with three of them funded by the city and the other by private funds, according to the Department of Construction.

 

The number of public houses is “small” compared to the number of low-income earners, Nguyen Quoc Tuan, deputy director of the Department, said.

 

HCMC authorities encourage property developers to build housing on public lands in an attempt to cut spending.

 

In return, they can use the land for free and get VAT waiver and permission to build up to 1.5 times the regulated size.

 

The government will also waive income tax for four years and ensure a net return of 10 percent.

 

Yet, property firms shun public housing for offering low returns and not quickly enough. They are also worried about the fact that buyers have to meet several requirements.

 

A director of a property company, who asked to be unnamed, said developers will not make profits at the 10 percent rate guaranteed since many expenses cannot be shown in account books.

 

Public housing projects will be more attractive to property firms if the government buys back the houses after they are built, a member of the council approving lease of such houses, told TuoiTre.

 

Tuan also called for policies that offer greater flexibility for developers.

 

CMC Group to pare stake in BaoViet Bank

 

The Hanoi-based CMC Technology Group plans to reduce its stake in the Bao Viet Commercial Joint Stock Bank (BaoViet Bank) this year.

 

In a submission to the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange last Wednesday, CMC said its board has approved the reduction in holding in accordance with the law.

 

However, it did not mention how many shares will be sold or the reason for the divestment.

 

BaoViet Bank was established in January 2009 with a chartered capital of VND1.5 trillion, of which 52 percent was held by the state-run Bao Viet Holdings and 9.9 percent by CMC.

 

Bao Viet Holdings, Vietnam's largest insurer, reported losses of tens of millions of dollars last November due to investment in the beleaguered, debt-ridden state shipbuilder Vinashin and stock trading.

 

The Hanoi-based group had bought non-guaranteed corporate bonds worth VND680 billion ($34.9 million) from Vinashin several years ago, according to government inspectors.

 

But Vinashin, as the Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group is commonly known, was on the brink of bankruptcy earlier this year with more than VND86 trillion ($4.4 billion) in debts.

 

Bao Viet Holdings signed 34 deposit contracts in 2009 with Vinashin Financial Co, one of Vinashin's hundreds of subsidiaries, worth VND406 billion.

 

Meanwhile, two subsidiaries, Bao Viet Securities Co and Viet Long Securities Investment Fund, racked up a combined loss of VND235 billion from stock investments.

 

Bao Viet Holdings listed on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange in June 2009.

 

Tough times to persist for banking sector

 

The banking sector remains a concern in 2011, with rising interest rates, pressure on the exchange rate, and liquidity all worrying people.

 

The lending interest rate is partially a function of a bank’s efficiency and competitiveness since if it manages to cut costs, it can lend at lower rates but still remain profitable.

 

While Vietnam's banks have managed to bring interest rates down considerably from past years, they are not very competitive yet and tend to pass on costs to customers by demanding unusual fees such as for arranging the loan.

 

The trade deficit was around $12 billion last year and is forecast to edge up to $13 billion to $14 billion in 2011.

 

Though it is just 20 percent of exports, the deficit still puts significant pressure on the demand for foreign exchange since foreign exchange reserves are modest and inflows not forecast to increase by much.

 

In this context, pressure to devalue the dong will become inevitable if the government does not have long-term solutions.

 

Preventing the use of dollars in the economy, reducing import of nonessential goods, and increasing exports will be the solutions to stabilize the foreign exchange market and exchange rates.

 

In the long term, the government should focus on economic growth quality and not pursue just high growth rates.

 

Recent experience shows that stabilizing the banking sector remains a concern, especially liquidity.

 

Banks’ frequent lack of liquidity reveals unsatisfactory liquidity-risk management and the imbalance between availability and use of resources.

 

Though the financial strength of banks, as reflected by their capital, has improved significantly, the dramatic rise in bad debts has been a blow to their financial capacity.

 

Ratings agency Moody lowered the credit ratings for foreign currency deposits for six Vietnamese banks from B1 to B2 last month while Fitch Rating and S&P also lowered credit ratings for six other banks.

 

The sudden rise in deposit interest rates at mid-sized banks to 18 percent last month shows that liquidity and risk-management problems need close attention.

 

Warning officials can help lower the rates but tackling the causes in 2011 is an important task for management agencies.

 

Restructuring the banking sector also needs attention this year and in the future.

 

The structural issues include increasing lending to the private sector, for manufacturing, and in rural areas; addressing the imbalance in lending by increasing medium- and long-term loans to more appropriate levels – but reducing average loan size --and reducing short-term lending.

 

Loans of up to one year account for 80 percent of lending now.

 

Vietnam cancels multi-million dollar projects

 

Local governments revoked many foreign projects, which showed no signs of getting off the ground due to insufficient capital.

 

STX Vina Industrial Complex developed by South Korea’s STX Group in central Khanh Hoa Province:

 

Licensed in 2008, the US$500-million STX Vina complex was known as the biggest foreign-invested project in Van Phong Economic Zone.

 

The 100-hectare complex was tailored to build container ships, big oil tanks and manufacture off-shore petroleum production equipment and many other capabilities.

 

The provincial authorities recalled the license after the Korean investor made no progress for a long time because of financial difficulties.

 

AJ Vietstar Complex co-developed by A-Jung Engineering & Construction Ltd, Korea-Vietnam Engineering & Construction Ltd and a Korean individual in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau:

 

The $200 million AJ Vietstar was licensed in 2009.

 

It was designed to have townhouses, two apartment blocks, a four-star hotel, a luxury commercial center, international schools, recreational areas, health care facilities, and other components.

 

The project had their investment license revoked a year later due to the investor’s weak financial capacity.

 

Dragon Beach eco-resort owned by Dragon Beach Group in central Quang Nam Province:

 

The $4.15 billion project was allocated 400 hectares on the seafront for building nine hotels, a 10,0000-seat convention center, office space, shopping malls, villas, apartments, and casinos.

 

Licensed in 2009, the multi-billion dollar project by the US’s Tano Capital LLC and Global C&D was considered the biggest project in central Vietnam.

 

But the provincial government withdrew the license in last November after the US developer had failed to pay the deposit and to carry out some other tasks as agreed.

 

Wood products firm clinches deals to EU

 

Duc Thanh Wood JS Company has had orders worth US$500,000 in the first month of the year, according to Le Hong Thang, production manager of the company.

 

The Ho Chi Minh City-based company has signed export deals with EU importers at up to 7 percent higher than the same period of last year.

 

Duc Thanh Wood JS Company manufactures kitchenware and household utensils, distributing its products through supermarket chains in domestic market and exporting to the United States, Japan, Italy, Germany, Australia, and South Africa.

 

It’s export turnover is expected to reach US$9 million, up 15 percent against last year.

 

The EU is the second largest export market of Vietnam wood manufacturers only after the US. Export to the EU in the last two years was valued at more than US$750 million on average.

 

VietinBank to sell shares to Nova Scotia in Q2 2011

 

VietinBank, Vietnam's top partly private lender by assets, aims to conclude talks to sell a 15 percent stake to Canada's Bank of Nova Scotia in the second quarter of 2011, a state-run newspaper said last Friday.

 

VietinBank has been accelerating talks with the Canadian bank so that "in Q2 2011 the bank will officially become a shareholder of VietinBank," Chairman Pham Huy Hung told the central bank-run Banking Times newspaper in an interview.

 

Hung also said the International Finance Corporation (IFC) would remit more than $300 million in the first quarter of 2011 to conclude the purchase of 10 percent of VietinBank, or the Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade.

 

In October IFC signed an agreement to buy 10 percent of Hanoi-based VietinBank for $186 million and to extend a $125 million 10-year loan to help VietinBank finance its long-term investment.

 

Shares in VietinBank ended flat at VND23,000 ($1.18) last Friday.

 

Hung said next year VietinBank would issue bonds on the international markets, including in the United States, to raise funds to meet demand for Vietnam's economic development.

 

He did not elaborate on the issue.

 

Shrimp shipments hit $2 bln

 

Vietnam’s shrimp export revenue last year rose 19 percent over the previous year to US$2 billion, on the back of increased demand in the key markets.

 

Volume for the last year increased by 14.5 percent to 240,000 tons, according to the Vietnam Association Exporters and Producers (Vasep)

 

Vietnam exported shrimp to 92 markets, of which increased their purchases.

 

VASEP said shrimp prices had hiked thanks to some reasons like oil spill in the Mexico Gulf of the US, the economic recovery in some major markets and a fall in output.

 

Shrimp shipments are expected to top $2 billion this year and $3 billion in 2015.



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