UK, Cuba agree on debt restructuring

(VOVworld) - Visiting British Foreign Secretary Anthony Hammond reached an agreement on restructuring Cuban debt payments in a meeting with President Raul Castro on Saturday. According to a Cuban government statement, the agreement will contribute to the development of economic, commercial and financial relations between the two nations. But the British embassy in Havana and Cuban officials gave neither a figure for the debt nor any further details on the agreement. British Foreign Secretary Anthony Hammond (Photo: Yahoo) Earlier Hammond met with his Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodriguez to discuss improvements to Cuba’s socio-economic policies. He promised the UK’s support for Cuba in culture and tourism to promote mutual understanding between the two peoples. The two foreign ministers witnessed the signing of several agreements in energy, education, culture, and financial services. Hammond is the first British foreign secretary to visit Cuba since the 1959 revolution. … [Read more...]

The ups and downs of banking tycoons

VietNamNet Bridge - Nguyen Duc Kien, or ‘mogul Kien,’ and Tram Be once had long arms in the banking sector. But not now. Sacombank is undergoing the restructure Three years after Dang Van Thanh stepped down from the post of member of Sacombank’s directors’ board, his opponent – Tram Be – also had to say ‘goodbye’ to Sacombank. The exit of Tram Be was officially approved in November 2015 by Sacombank’s board of directors. By that time, Be had been in the banking sector for more than one decade. Tram Be was the hidden influential businessman behind the hostile takeover of Sacombank. The deal was made at the time when commercial banks were forced to undergo restructuring to settle bad debts and clear the so called ‘cross-ownership’ status. However, it seemed that the first effort to restructure Sacombank could not bring the desired effects. Sacombank in the reign of Dang Van Thanh was found as having many problems … [Read more...]

Collective economy contributing to the provincial socio-eco development

The Cooperative Alliance has recently held the celebration on Vietnam Cooperative Day (April 11th) and the 20th Year of establishing the Provincial Cooperative Union (April, 1996 - April, 2016). Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee, Mr. Huynh Tan Viet awarding the Provincial Cooperative Alliance the form: "Innovate, develop, improve the efficiency of collective economy" During the past 70 years, along with the whole country, the collective economy movement in Phu Yen has made worthy contributions to the socio-eco development in the province. Currently, the province has 3,800 cooperative teams, nearly 200 cooperatives and unions of cooperatives, which have attracted about 200,000 members and employees. Some cooperatives have boldly innovated, timely conversed to adapt the new mechanism, gradually switched their operation under the Cooperative Law in 2012; positively contributing to economic restructuring, new rural construction in the locality. The Provincial Cooperative … [Read more...]

Focusing on Restructuring Processing Industry Sector

The processing industry accounts for over 97 percent of industrial production of Soc Trang and has seen impressive growth in recent years. In which, seafood processing is a key industry, playing an important role in the province's overall industrial value. Over the past time, seafood processing establishments have been creating conditions to invest in new technology, improve quality, product value, diversify exports and ensure consuming most aquaculture production in the province. Seafood processing value in 2010 (constant 1994 prices) reached VND5270 billion, in 2014 reached 5524 billion; the average growth rate was 1.18 percent / year. Regarding exports, while the 2010 export value of seafood products reached nearly VND394 million, in 2015 this figure was estimated to reach VND495 million, up 25.63 percent compared with 2010; the average growth in the period 2010 - 2015 is 4.7 percent/year, of which frozen shrimp exported 40,127 tons. Most of the seafood processing enterprises in … [Read more...]

Agriculture Ministry to equitize four large SOEs by 2020

Four large State-owned enterprises (SOEs) in the agriculture sector are to be equitized before 2020: the Vietnam Rubber Group, the Vietnam Southern Food Corporation, the Vietnam Northern Food Corporation, and the Vietnam Coffee Corporation (Vinacafe). The goal was announced by Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat at a recent conference on "Restructuring State-owned Enterprises (SOEs) in Agriculture". A report from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) released at the conference showed that in the 2011-2015 period the ministry equitized 12 State-owned corporations and enterprises but only brought in VND1.95 trillion ($87.75 million), or 43 per cent of the amount estimated. Addressing the conference, Minister Phat said that the restructuring of SOEs in the agriculture sector has been tardy in recent years. "Restructuring SOEs is mandatory and an important solution for the successful restructuring of the agriculture sector," he said. The … [Read more...]

Provincial People’s Committee holds March regular meeting

The Hai Duong Provincial People's Committee on March 16 morning held the 2nd March regular meeting. Mr. Nguyen Duong Thai, Deputy Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee, Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee, presides over the meeting. Photo: Thanh Chung The Hai Duong Provincial People's Committee (PPC) on March 16 morning held the 2nd March regular meeting to consider regulations on Con Son – Hai Duong Literature and Art award; the position, functions, tasks, authority, and organizational structure of the Department of Industry and Trade; the renaming of the Center for Management after Drug Detoxification to Hai Duong Provincial Center for Counseling and Treatment of Drug Addiction; and the draft Scheme for Agricultural Restructuring towards Value-added Raising and Sustainable Development. Speaking to conclude the meeting, PPC Chairman Nguyen Duong Thai agreed to the promulgation of regulations on Con Son – Hai Duong Literature and Art award and required … [Read more...]

Credit institutions reduce cross-ownership

VietNamNet Bridge – On February 19 Viet Nam Maritime Joint Stock Bank (MaritimeBank) sold 64.2 million shares of Military Bank (MB), accounting for 4 per cent of the military-owned lender’s registered capital. The buyers were a group of investors from Dragon Capital Fund. Viet Nam Investment Fund Management Company (VEIL) bought 25.2 million shares while Amersham Industries Limited and Norges Bank bought 13.58 million and 25.5 million shares. The move helped MaritimeBank pare its ownership of MB to 4.96 per cent, bringing it within the central bank’s ownership cap of 5 per cent. The deal was worth an estimated VND1 trillion (US$44.8 million), a windfall profit for the bank. Earlier the Import and Export Joint Stock Bank (Eximbank) suddenly sold 300 million shares of Sacombank, reducing its ownership in the latter from 9.6 per cent to 8.76 per cent. Eximbank plans to sell more shares to cut its ownership to less than 5 per cent. The cross-ownership in the … [Read more...]

Vietnam Airlines’ to privatise VASCO

Vietnam Airlines’ spokesperson Le Hoang Dung said the national flag carrier was planning to privatise VASCO - Vietnam Air Services Company. The ATR72-500 VASCO was established in 1987. At first, it only provided small aircraft including AN2, AN30 and King Air B200 for some air transport routes as well as aerial photography, geological surveys, emergency medical services and search and rescue missions. Vietnam Airlines recently proposed to partly privatise the company with minimum chartered capital of VND300bn (USD13.5m) and a maximum of 10 aircraft fleet. Vietnam Airlines will retain a 51% controlling stake while 49% will be sold to Techcombank. The proposal was approved by Ministry of Transport on March 7. Vietnam Airlines' capital contribution is covered by ATR72-500 aircraft, spare engines and other assets. Techcombank's contribution would be in cash. "In the near future, the company will continue to exploit the ATR72-500s which are suitable for inbound flights or to … [Read more...]

Restructuring of SOEs still slow

VietNamNet Bridge – The equitization process continues to disappoint despite there clearly being the will to wrap it up as quickly as possible. The goal of equitizing 432 State-owned enterprises (SOEs) in 2014 and 2015 has gone unmet but the effort and decisive policies from the government have created substantial changes in the process of restructuring public enterprises. This represents an essential step in improving the efficiency of enterprises as economic integration moves forward. According to the Ministry of Finance (MoF), the restructuring of SOEs is one of three main pillars of economic restructuring it has been tasked to conduct. In 2015 the ministry actively removed bottlenecks in policy and pushed implementation of restructuring plans. Modest results To remove obstacles, last year the MoF prepared Decree No. 87/2015/ND-CP dated October 6, 2015 on monitoring State capital invested in enterprises, Decree No. 91/2015/ND-CP dated October 13, 2015 on State … [Read more...]

VN farmers struggling to survive due to lack of investment, price controls

VietNamNet Bridge – Nguyen Quoc Cuong, chairman of the Viet Nam Farmers' Union, speaks to Thoi bao Kinh te Viet Nam (the Viet Nam Economic Times) about key measures to boost Vietnamese agricultural production. Illustrative image -- File photo Agriculture has been described as the primary industry of our country, yet its growth rate has declined over the last three consecutive years. What can you tell us about this situation? In my opinion, the key reason is that our investment in agricultural development has decreased considerably over the last two decades. For example, in the 2005-2010 period, the rate of investment dropped to 6.12 per cent as compared to 32.4 per cent in the 1989-1990 period. From 2012 to 2014, investment dropped further to 6.06 per cent. Coupled with low investment was a sluggishness in agricultural consumption, and the fact that farmers do not have the right to decide the price of their own products. These factors have gradually eroded farmers' … [Read more...]

Rules on restructuring credit institutions updated

The State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) issued Circular No. 36/2015/TT-NHNN (December 31) on the restructuring of credit institutions. This Circular only applies to commercial banks, financial companies, organisations and individuals related to the restructuring of credit institutions. The Circular focuses on requirements, documents and procedures for mergers and consolidation and conversion of business types of credit institutions. It takes effect on March 1, 2016. Cases of restructuring of credit institutions 1. Mergers of credit institutions (1) Commercial bank or finance company is merged into another commercial bank; (2) Financial company is merged into another financial company. 2. Consolidation of credit institutions (1) Two commercial banks consolidate to become commercial bank; (2) Commercial bank and finance company consolidate to become commercial bank; (3) Financial company and financial company consolidate to become financial company. 3. Conversion of business types of … [Read more...]

VN banks willing to take risk, move abroad

The Ha Noi-Sai Gon Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SHB) opened its fully-owned SHB Bank Limited in Laos in mid-January by upgrading the transaction office it had set up in 2012. The bank has a charter capital of $50 million and a branch in Champasak besides the main office in Vientiane.— Photo nguoiduatin.vn The bank has a charter capital of $50 million and a branch in Champasak besides the main office in Vientiane. SHB is the third Vietnamese bank to enter Laos after Vietinbank and Sacombank. SHB Bank Limited has ambitious plans over the next five years: 15 transaction points, branches and offices; over 300 highly skilled staff and gross profit of $9.15 million. SHB is just one of five banks to have branches overseas, with Vietinbank, MB and HDBank being the others. Many Vietnamese banks have been scrambling to open branches in other countries to improve their competitiveness and help Vietnamese companies do business overseas, a growing trend in recent years. They began … [Read more...]

Overseas workers at record in 2015

VietNamNet Bridge – The number of Vietnamese workers employed overseas in 2015 reached a record of more than 115,980, bringing the total number to more than 500,000, Minister of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs Pham Thi Hai Chuyen said. More Vietnamese workers than ever headed overseas for work last year. The number heading overseas to work last year was 122 per cent of the annual plan and equal to 108.5 per cent of the figure in 2014, according to figures from the Department of Overseas Labor (DoOL) at the Ministry of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs (MoLISA). 2015 was the second year the number of Vietnamese workers heading overseas exceeded 100,000, DoOL confirmed. The number going to traditional markets such as Taiwan and Japan increased against 2014, at 67,121 to Taiwan, for a 108 per cent increase year-on-year, and 27,010 to Japan, an increase of 136.6 per cent. Other markets also attracted high numbers, including Malaysia (7,354), South Korea (6,019), Saudi … [Read more...]

Synchronously implement measures to break up

2016 is the first year of implementing the Resolution of 12thNational Party Congress, and that of the 16th Provincial Party Congress. This is also the premise year of implementing plans of socio-eco development during 5 years (2016-2020). Therefore, the PPC determines to be an important milestone, which is the hinge to promote the advantages, creating momentum boost Phu Yen towards sustainable development. Deputy Secretary of Provincial Party Committee cum PPC Chairman, Mr. Hoang Van Tra In 2016, besides the fundamental advantages, Phu Yen will face many difficulties and challenges. However, the Party, government and people of Phu Yen province are determined to maintain the economic growth over 7.4%; budget revenue in the province reaches 3,200 billion dongs; mobilized capital for social development at about 20,300 billion dongs; total export turnover reaches US $ 120 million; ensuring the welfare, social security and improving people's lives; reducing the poverty rate to below … [Read more...]

New policies take effect in VN in February

VietNamNet Bridge – New policies include regulations on re-arrangement of agriculture companies, sanctions against irresponsible cadres and public employees, foreign langue teaching, technology transfer, banking system safety. The State will continue to maintain, consolidate and restructure agriculture companies that it holds 100% charter capital. – File photo According to the Government’s Decree No. 118/2014/ND-CP, the State will continue to maintain, consolidate and restructure agriculture companies that it holds 100% charter capital. The companies include those operating in strategic zones, border and remote areas. The Decree is scheduled to take effect since February 1. The Government’s Decree 04/2015//ND-CP requires leaders of State agencies to take proper measures to deal with cadres and public employees who fail to perform their duties, fail to show sense of responsibility at work or those who harass citizens. The Decree is scheduled to come … [Read more...]

Increasing agricultural competitiveness for international integration

(VOVworld) – Discussion topics at the 12th National Party Congress included ways to increase agricultural competitiveness for international integration. Delegates said specific measures are needed to realize new international commitments in order to reduce risks and create opportunities for the agricultural sector. Many delegates agreed with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh’s report that preparations for domestic production to conform to international commitments have been slow. They agreed that Vietnam should be more proactive in production, technology, and market issues to fully implement WTO commitments and commitments of new generation free trade agreements over the next 5 years. They said that although agriculture is Vietnam’s strength the sector is facing many challenges in the context of integration. Pham Minh Dao, a delegate from Dong Nai province, said: "Increasing productivity, product quality, and scale of production is … [Read more...]

State Capital Investment Corporation continues divestment, restructuring of enterprises

VietNamNet Bridge – The State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) divested State capital from 120 businesses in 2015, earning VND94.49 trillion (US$200.17 million) from a book value of VND1.68 trillion ($74.9 million). A model of VTV Tower in Ha Noi. As a joint venture between Vietnam Television and SCIC, the tower is expected to be among the top attractions in the capital city. — Photo VTV This was a 2.7-time increase, achieving 176 per cent of the target. As of December 31, 2015, SCIC's portfolio comprised 197 enterprises, with the State capital's book value being more than VND20 trillion ($891.7 million), accounting for 23 per cent of the charter capital and a market value of nearly VND95.7 trillion ($4.26 billion). As for new investments, SCIC focused its investment resources and obtained positive turns last year. SCIC's total investment disbursement in 2015 was more than VND8 trillion ($356.7 million). Certain large-scale projects became operational after a … [Read more...]

Transparency and Accountability

Mr Nguyen Van Binh, Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), has made imprints that cannot be denied by the most intense caveats. The deactivation of the "second currency" and an acquisition of weak performance banks at zero VND. However, the work of the governor in 2016 involves facing challenges to meet higher demands to ensure a transparent system. Getting better Many successful M&A transactions between Maritime Bank and Mekong Development Bank (MDB), Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) and Mekong Housing Bank (MHB), and Sacombank and Southern Bank have occurred. The M&A of BIDV and MHA completed in May, 2015 is rated as a "tiger grows wings" deal. The M&A has increased the total asset of the BIDV to over VND700 trillion, the charter capital to over VND34 trillion; the network has been expanded to nearly 1,000 units across the country, with a total workforce of 24,000 employees. The M&A of the Maritime Bank and the MDB … [Read more...]

Five highlights of Vietnam’s economy in 2015 and outlook for 2016

VietNamNet Bridge – On the occasion of the 2016 New Year, Vuong Dinh Hue, head of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission, answered queries by a reporter of the Communist Party of Vietnam Online Newspaper at dangcongsan.vn on Vietnam’s economy in 2015 and its outlook for 2016. Head of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission Vuong Dinh Hue Could you please specify some highlights of the Vietnamese economy in 2015? The economy of Vietnam still registered several notable highlights last year despite numerous difficulties. First, the economy showed conspicuous recovery momentum, with gross domestic product (GDP) soaring over 6.6% - the highest level over the past five years and greater than the 6.2% growth targeted by the National Assembly. The consumer price index (CPI) posted a year-on-year rise of 0.63%, marking the lowest increase within 14 years. The figures indicated that the measures taken by the government to ensure macroeconomic … [Read more...]

Restructuring drives changes in banks’ top leader positions

Major local banks see top tier leadership changes as the sector has undergone more than three years of restructuring. This trend is forecasted to ramp up even further when the process enters its final stages. After four months of headless operation following the central bank (SBV)’s decision to remove former CEO Tran Phuong Binh, DongA Bank has appointed a new CEO from January 1, 2016. Accordingly, on December 31, 2015, the bank’s Board of Directors announced the appointment of Nguyen Thanh Tung, a board member and the bank’s deputy general director, as the bank’s CEO from January 1, 2016. The decision received approval from the SBV on December 25. Tung, born in 1966, was previously appointed by the SBV to participate in DongA Bank’s governance from September 14, 2015. Before, he was the director of VietinBank’s Ho Chi Minh City branch and has nearly 26 years of experience in credit operations at VietinBank. Before Tung’s appointment as … [Read more...]