Thai giants vie for Big C in Vietnam and Thailand

VietNamNet Bridge - Thai conglomerates, including TCC Holding and Central Group, are running a race to buy Big C supermarkets in Vietnam and Thailand from French Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Commercial Division in Thailand. TCC Holding and Central Group belong to Thai billionaires Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi and the Chirathivat family, respectively. The two have shown strong determination to acquire the Big C chain. The source said on Bizlive that both the Thai conglomerates have been seeking consultancy from banks in anticipation of the necessity for financial support. Some days ago, TCC Holding reached an agreement on buying 59 percent of Casino’s stakes in Big C Thailand in a deal worth $3.5 billion. As for Big C Vietnam, analysts say it may be worth up to $800 million. Japan’s Aeon Group has also expressed its intention to buy Big C Vietnam. Thai conglomerates, including TCC Holding and Central Group, … [Read more...]

Retail sector sees foreign-Vietnam M&A

The Vietnamese retail market has seen some mergers and acquisitions (M&A) between foreign and Vietnamese enterprises, thanks to the huge development potential of the retail sector. As part of its commitment to join the World Trade Organisation, Vietnam has allowed the establishment of 100 percent foreign retail companies since 2015. Vietnam's membership of the newly-established ASEAN Economic Community will connect the country's market with a single regional market of 600 million consumers, while the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement will bring more than 10,000 kinds of goods from 12 member countries at zero tariffs. In this context, the current modern retail channel of supermarkets and stores account for only 25 percent of the market share in Vietnam, where the traditional market is still the most popular shopping channel. Compared with the region, the coverage of modern retail sector in the country is much lower than in the regional countries, such as 33 percent in the … [Read more...]

BUSINESS IN BRIEF 14/8

Import costs hit textile firmsViet Nam's garment and textile industry remains reliant on imported raw materials, concerning enterprises seeking to take advantage of zero tariffs mandated in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which has been under negotiation.Statistics showed that in the first seven months of this year, the total export turnover of garment and textile products reached US$9.636 billion, a rise of 16.3 per cent year-on-year. But, the import of raw materials for the industry hit $7.646 billion, up 18.2 per cent.Nguyen Thi Bich Lien, deputy director of Dong Nai Industrial Garment Co, said dependence on imported raw materials would be the biggest challenge to the country's garment industry when TPP came into force.The TPP's "yarn-forward" rule of origin required nations to use a TPP member-produced yarn in textiles in order to receive duty-free access.However, Viet Nam currently imported raw materials from many countries which were not members of TPP, such as China.Efforts … [Read more...]

Vincom Mega Mall turns the screws on struggling rivals

The launch of Vincom Mega Mall Royal City, the largest underground retail complex in Asia, is expected to dramatically change the retailing landscape in Hanoi, and pose stiff competition to the current retail centres in the city. Vincom Mega Mall introduces many "firsts" to Hanoi, Photo: Duc Thanh During the first opening week, the junction of Nga Tu So and Nguyen Trai streets where the Vincom Mega Mall Royal City is located was surprisingly busy due to thousands of potential customers visiting the centre in their cars and on motorbikes. The mall space was filled with both shoppers and curious visitors despite a rainy weekend. In its white paper "From ice-scream to ice rink" CBRE described the large footfall over the first few days of its opening as "very impressive and greater than one might have ordinarily expected to see in Vietnam shopping centres." "Vincom Mega Mall Royal City has indeed created a big bang in the Hanoi market," the property consultant stated in the white … [Read more...]

South Korean retailer to boost Vietnam investment

South Korea's retail giant Lotte Mart is set to boost its investment in Vietnam in an attempt to expand its presence in the local market, Yonhap News Agency reported. A Lotte Mart supermarlet in Ho Chi Minh City's District 7 The Vietnamese government has given the greenlight for Lotte to raise the capital for its joint venture by US$50 million, the report said. According to news website VnEconomy, Lotte Mart holds an 80 percent stake in its joint venture with local company Minh Van. The venture, Lotte Shopping Vietnam, was inaugurated in 2008. The Korean retailer has opened two outlets in Vietnam, both in Ho Chi Minh City. It plans to have a total of 30 supermarkets in the country. Vietnam's retail sales grew 22.8 percent in the first nine months, according to the General Statistics Office. The growth had eased from the 24.5 percent increase recorded at the end of 2010 as local consumers cut back on spending amid high inflation. … [Read more...]

Lotte Mart staff stop working due to wage dispute

Around 40 cashiers at the Lotte Mart in Ho Chi Minh City's District 7 walked off the job October 28 in protest of what they say is the company's unfair wage policy. Lotte Mart in District 7, HCM City (Photo: Saigon Times)  The workers complained they were paid only VND1.5 million (about US$85) per month on average after nearly one year of working for the supermarket. Lotte, meanwhile, recently announced that it would pay VND2 million per month to new workers performing the same job at a new company outlet.  The protesters said they had filed a request for higher salaries with the company's management board but their demands were rejected. The same day, District 7 Labor Federation representatives came to the supermarket to try and resolve the dispute, but the supermarket's manager refused to meet with them, saying he was too busy.     Lotte Mart is owned by Lotte Shopping Vietnam Co., Ltd., a wholly South Korean-owned company, located at Tan Phong Ward, District 7, HCM City. The … [Read more...]

S. Korea Tops FDI Source in Vietnam

Foreign direct investment (FDI) from South Korea into Vietnam so far this year has reached around US$2.4 billion in 203 projects, three times last years figure, Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) reported. With the impressive figure, S. Korea replaced Hong Kong as the biggest investor during the first ten months of the year, to become the number one investor in the Southeast-Asian nation in 2006. The agency said S. Korean investment mostly focuses on industrial production, construction and tourism. S. Korea's leading steel group Posco on November 18 was granted an investment certificate by the MPI for its steel project worth US$1.128 billion in Phu My II Industrial Park in the southern coastal province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau. Meanwhile Kumho Asiana group has kicked off the US$380-million project to produce tires in the southern province of Binh Duong and it has also invested US$260 million in building hotels and apartments in Ho Chi Minh City. … [Read more...]

Three foreign investors in race for purchase of Big C Vietnam

VietNamNet Bridge - Bloomberg reported that Lotte Group (South Korea), TCC Holding and Central Group (Thailand) have applied to participate in the auction for the Big C Vietnam chain. To own Big C chain, the investor will have to pay about US$800 million. To cut debt, Casino Group of France is selling some assets in Asia and Latin America, while focusing on business activities in its largest market - France. Last year, Lotte Group said it planned to open 60 supermarkets in Vietnam by 2020. The Korean group runs the fast food chain Lotteria, shopping centers, hotels and cinemas in Vietnam. Meanwhile, in January 2016, TCC Holding of the Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi completed the acquisition of Metro Cash & Carry Vietnam with 655 million euros. Earlier, many large retail groups wanted to join the race to own the Big C chain in Vietnam, including Singapore's Dairy Farm; Japan's Aeon ... The sale of Big C Vietnam was decided after Big C Thailand was sold late last … [Read more...]

Vietnamese investors remain indifferent to Big C deal

VietNamNet Bridge - At least five foreign investors have announced they will vie to acquire Big C Vietnam but Vietnamese investors remain indifferent to the deal. The five foreign investors include two from Thailand, Berli Jucker and Central Group, Lotte Shopping from South Korea, Dairy Farm from Singapore and Aeon from Japan. All of the potential buyers are foreign retailers who are present in the Vietnamese market. A branding expert said that retailers will be able to save seven years of time and big money developing a new retail chain. However, Vietnamese investors show no interest. including Vinmart, belonging to Vingroup, the conglomerate owned by the Vietnamese dollar billionaire Pham Nhat Vuong, and Saigon Co-op, which holds the largest market share. All of the potential buyers are foreign retailers who are present in the Vietnamese market Vu Vinh Phu, chair of the Hanoi Supermarket Association, thinks that Vietnamese investors don’t intend to buy Big C because … [Read more...]

Why are many Thai buyers in the VN retail market?

VietNamNet Bridge - Thai businesses are not as strong and financially capable as Japanese or South Korean but they act often more promptly and professionally. The Vietnamese retail market recently witnessed a series of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in which the buyers were businessmen from Thailand. Berli Jucker Plc (BJC), for example, has taken over the Japanese chain of 42 FamilyMarts and renamed it as B’mart. In mid-2014, BJC made a deal on buying Metro Cash & Carry Vietnam at $880 million, the biggest affair in the retail sector in Vietnam so far. The deal wrapped up 1.5 years later, in January 2016. In early 2015, Central Group successfully acquired a 49 percent stake of the Nguyen Kim home appliance distribution chain. Right after French Casino Group announced the plan to sell Big C Vietnam, analysts predicted that Big C chain in Vietnam was likely to fall into Thai hands. Later, BJC stated it was vying for Big C Vietnam. Thai businesses are not as strong … [Read more...]

Deputy PM orders to buy all offshore fishing products

Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung yesterday ordered the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and provincial authorities to instruct businesses to purchase all offshore fishing products attested safety in the north central region. Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung states at a meeting with Ha Tinh, one of four provinces affected by the fish death in the north central region (Photo: SGGP) The requirement was issued after a meeting between the Deputy PM and leaders of provinces, where hundreds of tons of fish in farms and coastal waters died and washed on the shores in the last half of April. Deputy PM Dung required the two ministries to establish hot lines announced on the media to timely solve difficulties for fishermen on April 30. The State Bank of Vietnam should instruct related banks to extend the payment deadline of old loans and provide new loans for farmers to continue seafood farming and exploitation. Those fishermen who … [Read more...]

Foreign firms may be permitted to open 500 sq m retail outlets in Vietnam

Foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) with distribution rights will be able to open retail outlets of up to 500 sq m under a draft decree clarifying the trading of goods by FIEs under the Commercial Law. Convenience stores predicted to develop quickly if draft decree comes into being. The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) is collecting opinions on FIEs establishing such outlets or outlets in planned areas for retailing goods made overseas without the need to conduct an Economic Needs Test (ENT). If the draft decree comes into effect, distributors and foreign investors will have the right to open outlets of less than 500 sq m without needing an ENT from the local city or province. By limiting outlets to less than 500 sq m, retailers will not be able to develop such outlets into supermarkets or shopping malls. If it comes into effect the decree will create favorable conditions for the development of convenience stores that open 24/7, which have developed quickly in Vietnam over … [Read more...]

New Minister of Industry and Trade promises to boost efficiency

VietNamNet Bridge – The newly-appointed Minister of Industry and Trade talks with Vietnam News Agency about his actions to improve efficiency of the ministry’s activities from 2016 to 2021, and create favourable conditions for enterprises during international integration. Minister Tran Tuan Anh The people expect to have an active government from 2016 to 2021. What will the ministry do to contribute to the national socio-economic development during this period? Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said the key tasks that Government will accord priority to stability of the macro-economy and the creation of favourable conditions for developing the nation. The Government will continue completing market regulations to create good business, production and investment environments for attracting more sources that will contribute to the national socio-economic development in the future. Therefore, this year the ministry will focus on implementing directions of the government to … [Read more...]

India imposes anti-dumping duties on Vietnam MDF products

India has released its report on anti-dumping investigation into Plain Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) imported from Vietnam and Indonesia. The Vietnam Competition Authority (VCA) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade said on April 28 the Indian Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) concluded that prices of MDF exported to India were lower than normal, causing significant damage to the Indian industry. As the result, DGAD decided to impose dumping margins of 0-15% and damage margins of 10-40% on Vietnamese businesses who answered its questionnaires and dumping margins of 30-40% and damage margins of 35-45% on those who did not. DGAD will base on that conclusion to announce its final decision. Vietnamese businesses had the only chance to send their petitions to DGAD prior to May 2, 2016 before DGAD issues its final decision. … [Read more...]

Struggling to cope with changing climate

The wet season arrived late and ended early in the Mekong Delta this year, with total rainfall being well short of the average in recent times. Water flows along the key Mekong River were down dramatically, permitting greater saltwater intrusion than usual. Farming, production and people’s lives have been seriously affected, with hundreds of thousands of hectares of rice and fruit suffering damage. "The influx of salt water, which is predicted to extend up to 70 to 90 km inland, has had a major effect socially and economically in Mekong Delta provinces, sometimes to a serious degree," said Associate Professor Dr. Huynh Thi Lan Huong, Deputy Director General of the Vietnam Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Climate Change. Saving the Delta The recent drought and salt water intrusion has been assessed as the biggest natural disaster to strike Vietnam. With low rainfall, intrusion covers an area double that seen last year and is beyond the country’s ability to … [Read more...]

Industrial production up 7.3% in 4 months

From January to April, the processing and manufacturing industry posted a yearly rise of 9.6 per cent, while electricity distribution and production increased 12.1 per cent year-on-year. — Photo ndh.vn HA NOI (Biz Hub) — The national index of industrial production (IIP) in the first four months of this year surged 7.3 per cent year-on-year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO). GSO attributed the IIP's positive growth to the great efforts of domestic industrial enterprises in spurring consumption. In the first four months of 2016, the consumption index of local industry climbed 12.7 per cent, much higher than the 9.1 per cent seen in the first quarter of this year. However, the climb in industrial production was still lower than the 9.6 percent rise recorded in the same period last year, GSO noted. From January to April, the processing and manufacturing industry posted a yearly rise of 9.6 per cent, while electricity distribution and production increased … [Read more...]

Production, trading recovery increases revenues in HCMC

Ho Chi Minh City’s budget revenue reached VND98.57 trillion (US$4.42 billion) in the first four months this year, a year on year increase of 4.5 percent, reported the Department of Finance at a meeting on April 28. A view of the meeting (Photo: SGGP) Of these, domestic revenue hiked 16 percent, crude oil reduced 43 percent and export-import dropped 4 percent, it said. Businesses’ production and trading recovery has positively impacted the city’s budget revenue especially domestic source, the department added. According to reports by the city People’s Committee at the meeting, the total retailed revenue of goods and services reached VND231 trillion (US$10,365 million) in the first four months this year, up 11 percent over a year back. Consumer price index increased 0.68 percent. Industrial production was estimated to hike 6.2 percent with the most growth rate from beverage industry which up nearly 15 percent, clothing 11 percent, nonmetallic mineral products … [Read more...]

Some 20 Companies to Join Trade Promotion Delegation to Japan

As many as 20 companies will attend a trade delegation to visit Tokyo and Kobe cities in Japan from July 3-9, 2016. The event is organised by the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade) in cooperation with the Asia - Pacific Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Embassy of Vietnam in Japan, and the ASEAN - Vietnam Centre (AJC). The programme aims to promote export business opportunities to Japan via trade promotion programmes, business matches and direct meetings between Vietnamese companies and Japanese importers, distributors, retailers and manufacturers in Vietnam; promote images and brand names of Vietnamese companies, and study consumer tastes and trends in Japan. The targets are companies engaged in industry, agriculture, food production, garment and textile, footwear, household products and consumer goods. They can directly export to Japan or supply Japanese companies in Vietnam. Companies interested in this programme please contact the Vietnam … [Read more...]

Auto importers petition Government to hold taxes steady

Auto importers in Viet Nam petitioned Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and relevant sectors to consider problems related to some revised articles and supplements in the Law on Special Consumption Tax, which will become effective on July 1. Auto importers thinks that Law on Special Consumption Tax that will be effective on July will cause negative impacts on their business. - Photo thegioixe.thanhnien.vn This is the second change of the tax calculation this year. The first was put into effect in January 1. The changes, which were made in such a short time, reportedly made it difficult for auto businesses to set up their future plans. The petitioners are official suppliers of giant automakers in the world, including Audi, Bentley and Lamborghini, BMW and Mini, Jaguar and Land Rover, Luxgen and Baic, Maserati, Renault, Rolls-Royce, Subaru and Volkswagen. In an urgent petition sent to the Prime Minister, the ministries of industry and trade and finance, and the National Assembly's … [Read more...]

Vietnam struggles to cut red tape for businesses

An undated photo of Ho Chi Minh City's Department of Planning and Investment. Photo: Kha Hoa The Vietnamese government is facing a major hurdle in one of its most ambitious attempt to remove legal barriers to investment and business: time is running out while there are still a large number of regulations waiting to be reviewed for the cut. The deadline for half of the existing business requirements to be removed is July 1. Under the Law on Investment that took effect last year, only the central government can decide on which conditions businesses have to meet. That means more than 3,000 legal requirements put forth by ministries and provincial and municipal governments over the years must be reviewed and rid off. The central government will reintroduce rules that it deems necessary. At a government meeting early this week, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc firmly rejected proposals for extending the deadline, as many ministries and agencies claimed they are unable to finish the task … [Read more...]