Foreign investors eye local food processors

Ministries at odds over fate of Thach Khe iron mineNgoc Lan HANOI – The Ministry of Industry and Trade has insisted on continuing Thach Khe iron ore mining project while the Ministry of Planning and Investment has proposed suspending it. The Ministry of Planning and Investment on July 13 wrote to the Prime Minister proposing that the country’s largest iron mining project in Ha Tinh Province be suspended due to low commercial viability. Months earlier, the government of Ha Tinh Province had also sent a petition to central agencies suggesting that the project be put on hold due to impacts on environment and poor business performance.  The Ministry of Planning and Investment in its document said that if the project is canceled as proposed, an interdisciplinary team should be set up to proceed with the liquidation process, including the settlement of financial problems and half-done construction components after an overall assessment.  The interdisciplinary team will be led by the ministry, and is comprised of representatives of Ha Tinh government, Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin) and Thach Khe Iron Company (TIC). After receiving the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s document, the Government Office asked related ministries, including the Ministry of Industry and Trade, to give their feedback. According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Planning and Investment failed to provide a scientific rationale for suspending the project. A halt should be carefully weighed as it would affect the business environment of Ha Tinh Province…... [read more]

Tokyo Gas acquires stake in local firm to penetrate VietnamMinh Tam Representatives of the two firms at the signing ceremony - PHOTO: PV GAS HCMC - Tokyo Gas Asia Pte Ltd (Tokyo Gas Asia), a member of Japan’s Tokyo Gas, has just bought a 24.9% stake in PetroVietnam Low Pressure Gas Distribution Joint Stock Company (PV Gas D), a member of PetroVietnam Gas Joint Stock Corporation (PV Gas). In addition to the acquisition, Tokyo Gas Asia signed a strategic partnership agreement with PV Gas D, according to PV Gas’ press release issued on August 1. PV Gas D will receive Tokyo Gas Asia’s support in energy and technical solutions to boost the effectiveness of its natural gas business operations. The agreement and the acquisition deal between Tokyo Gas and PV Gas D is in line with a memorandum of understanding signed in March 2012 on comprehensive cooperation for the development of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Vietnam between Tokyo Gas and PV Gas. In July 2016, Tokyo Gas and PV Gas established LNG Vietnam Joint Stock Company to develop LNG infrastructure facilities and trading in Vietnam. Tokyo Gas Asia was founded in December 2014 with 100% capital funded by Tokyo Gas. The Singapore-based company is entrusted by the parent firm to manage investment projects in Southeast Asia. Tokyo Gas is a gas corporation in Japan specializing in both upstream and downstream operations like exploration, transport and distribution of natural gas. Tokyo Gas has expanded in many countries and become PV…... [read more]

PV Oil misses IPO schedule againMinh Tam HCMC – PetroVietnam Oil Corporation (PV Oil), a major fuel trading arm of Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam), still cannot launch a much-awaited initial public offering (IPO) in July as scheduled, the second time it has missed the deadline in the past couple of months. At a conference in April, PV Oil considered launching its IPO in late June, as announced on its official news website, PV Oil News. Later, Cao Hoai Duong, general director of PV Oil, told the news agency Bloomberg that the IPO might be postponed until July. However, there is still no more information about the plan until now.  PV Oil is the second largest fuel trader in Vietnam with a market share 22%, just behind Vietnam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex) with a market share of nearly 50% and about 2,500 gas stations. The IPO plan by PV Oil has drawn great interest from the public and potential investors due to three key reasons. Firstly, Petrolimex, the country’s leading fuel trading firm, has conducted its IPO since April and sold more than 8% of shares for Japanese firm JX Nippon Oil & Energy Secondly, unlike Petrolimex who can sell only 20% of its shares for foreign investors, PV Oil is allowed by the Government to sell up to 65% of its shares for strategic investors, employees and the public. The state will hold only 35% after the equitization. PV Oil’s IPO plan is to sell 49% of…... [read more]

Vietnam should speed up renewable energy developmentVan Nam A wind power project in the south-central coast province of Binh Thuan. Experts stress Vietnam should quickly develop renewable energy - PHOTO: VAN NAM HCMC – Vietnam should develop renewable energy sources in a timely manner in order to meet the rising demand for electricity in the years to come, according to industry watchers. Vietnam’s demand for electricity is seen picking up strongly, 265 billion kWh by 2020 and 570 billion kWh by 2030 compared to the current 170 billion kWh, according to a recent conference on the development of renewable energy. The country’s power supply is heavily dependent on hydropower, coal-fired thermal power and gas which are gradually becoming exhausted in the coming years. Industry experts said Vietnam should make use of potential power sources like renewable energy, and purchase more electricity from neighboring China, Laos and Cambodia in a bid to offset a possible shortfall of 100 billion kWh by 2020. The development of wind, solar, and biomass power should be paid special attention to, as the growth of renewable energy has become a sustainable trend in which many countries are pursuing. The Government is striving to reach 12 billion kWh of renewable energy by 2020. The figure is expected to amount to 89 billion kWh by 2030. Meanwhile, despite increasing investments, wind, solar and biomass power sources are currently having modest capacities of around 100 MW, 15 MW and 10 MW respectively, well below potentials. Tran Viet Ngai, chairman…... [read more]

Tram Be is the former vice chairman of the board of directors of Sacombank and ex-chairman of the bank’s credit council, while Phan Huy Khang is an ex-member of the credit council and former general director of the bank.  They are accused of intentionally violating State regulations on economic management and causing serious consequences relating to a case involving Pham Cong Danh, former chairman of the board of directors at the Việt Nam Construction Joint Stock Commercial Bank (VNCB), former chairman of the members’ council and general director of the Thien Thanh Group Co. Ltd.  Sacombank said according to a State Bank of Việt Nam (SBV) inspection, Sacombank did not incur losses through lending to six companies Danh is found to have been linked with, adding that the bank recovered the capital and interest from the loans by April 2014. Tram Be has not held a management position at the bank since February 23, 2017, while Phan Huy Khang has held no position at the bank since July 3, 2017, according to Sacombank.  On June 30, 2017, Sacombank’s annual shareholders’ meeting for the 2016-2017 fiscal year elected the board of directors and supervisory board for the 2017-2021 period, with Duong Cong Minh elected chairman of the board of directors.  The press release said Minh is leading Sacombank through a banking restructuring scheme approved by SBV, with several major plans, such as reshuffling apparatus and personnel, improving business operations, handling and recovering bad debts and managing expenses, as well as reforming business…... [read more]

Quang Tri province has granted investment licenses to 12 projects with a total capital of nearly 2 trillion VND (88 million USD) since the beginning of 2017 (Photo: VNA) Quang Tri (VNA) – The central province of Quang Tri has granted investment licenses to 12 projects with a total capital of nearly 2 trillion VND (88 million USD) since the beginning of 2017. So far, the province has attracted 316 projects worth more than 68 trillion VND (nearly 3 billion USD), of which 208 were put into operation. According to Tran Doan, head of the provincial management board of economic zones, 20 more projects worth over 82 trillion VND (3.6 billion USD) will receive investment licenses in the time to come. Local leaders have organised many working delegations to promote investment and worked with strategic investors to attract these projects so as to foster socio-economic development, generate more jobs and increase the locality’s budget collection. The province has cut down the number of small projects which require large land areas and cause environmental pollution. Attention has been paid to improving its investment climate by building an attractive, open and transparent environment. Quang Tri also signed memoranda of understanding on cooperation in building a Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) in the locality with Singapore’s Sembcorp Group and Vietnam’s Becamex Investment and Industrial Development Corporation (Becamex IDC).-VNA... [read more]

Nine enterprises are exempted from safeguards on imported colour-coated iron in 2017. — Photo theptrongquyen.com The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has decided to lift safeguard measures from imports of colour-coated iron for nine enterprises. On May 31, 2017, the MoIT issued Decision No 1931/QD-BCT applying safeguards on colour-coated iron sheets imported from various countries and territories. Since the decision, the MoIT’s Viet Nam Competition Authority (VCA) has received dossiers requesting exemptions of safeguard measures on imported high-quality colour-coated iron for production purposes. After appraising the dossiers, the MoIT chose to exempt safeguard measures on the imports for nine enterprises, including Panasonic Viet Nam Company Limited, LG Electronics Viet Nam Hai Phong Company Limited, Hoa Phat Refrigeration Engineering Company Limited, Samsung Electronics HCMC CE Complex Company Limited, Viettronics Tan Binh Joint Stock Company, Aqua Electrical Appliances Viet Nam Company Limited, Dong Anh Investment Construction and Building Materials Joint Stock Company, Viet Nam Pride Construction Investment Company Limited and Metal Viet Nam Joint Stock Company. Enterprises exempted from safeguards must submit reports on the imports to the VCA within the first 15 days of the following quarter. If the enterprises fail to send reports on time to VCA, the MoIT will revoke the exemption. — VNS ... [read more]

Tram Be (left) and Pham Cong Danh (right). Tram Be allegedly colluded with Pham Cong Danh and accomplices to use money from Sacombank to guarantee and pay off the debts of six companies set up by Danh, causing losses of more than VND1.8 trillion for VNCB. — Photo soha.vn The Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Sacombank) on August 1 delivered a press release on criminal proceedings against its former executives Tram Be and Phan Huy Khang. Tram Be is the former vice chairman of the board of directors of Sacombank and ex-chairman of the bank’s credit council, while Phan Huy Khang is an ex-member of the credit council and former general director of the bank. They are accused of intentionally violating State regulations on economic management and causing serious consequences relating to a case involving Pham Cong Danh, former chairman of the board of directors at the Viet Nam Construction Joint Stock Commercial Bank (VNCB), former chairman of the members’ council and general director of the Thien Thanh Group Co. Ltd. Sacombank said according to a State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) inspection, Sacombank did not incur losses through lending to six companies Danh is found to have been linked with, adding that the bank recovered the capital and interest from the loans by April 2014. Tram Be has not held a management position at the bank since February 23, 2017, while Phan Huy Khang has held no position at the…... [read more]

BP (BP.L) is in talks with electric vehicle makers on partnering to offer battery re-charging docks at its global network of fuel service stations as it seeks to benefit from the move away from diesel and petrol cars, Chief Executive Bob Dudley told Reuters on Tuesday. FILE PHOTO: A general view of a new BP petrol station on the outskirts of Mexico City, Mexico, March 9, 2017. The expected rapid growth in the use of electric vehicles in the coming decades is threatening oil companies' business model as demand for some road fuels could plateau as early as the late 2020s, according to some oil company estimates. Looking to take a slice of the growing market, London-based BP is however examining different ways to get involved in the sector. "We have discussions going on with a lot of the EV manufacturers to have a tie-up with our retail network for charging," Dudley said in an interview. Rival Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) has already launched a pilot scheme to install battery charging docks at a few of its service stations in Britain and the Netherlands. The number of electric vehicles on roads is forecast to grow significantly in the coming decades, particularly in cities, with BP estimating that there will be 100 million by 2035, up from 1.2 million in 2015. Dudley has been a vocal advocate of the oil and gas industry's need to take part in the move away from fossil fuels toward using cleaner sources of energy in…... [read more]

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (Source: VNA) Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MoPI) to acquire feedback on the draft law on special administrative – economic zones and refine it to submit to the National Assembly at the October session for consideration.  During a meeting with ministries, sectors in Hanoi on August 2, the PM underscored the determination to make the best law on special administrative – economic zones to ensure the zones’ sustainable, long-term development. He directed the MoPI to update the latest information about special administrative – economic zones’ comparative advantages, including those regarding strategic investors. He underscored the need to establish sound framework mechanisms, prevent discrimination between domestic and foreign investors, and offer preferential incentives to investors. The PM suggested setting orientations to fields of Vietnam’s demand in special economic zones. Participants discussed land policies, organisation and activities of local authorities, and priority investors in special zones. They called for creating breakthrough mechanisms that forge a new and level playing field with attractiveness, transparency, stability in line with international practices. Attending the event were head of the Party Central Committee’s Organisation Commission Pham Minh Chinh, leaders of ministries, agencies and provinces of Quang Ninh, Khanh Hoa and Kien Giang, which are working on the projects to build Van Don, Bac Van Phong, and Phu Quoc special zones.-VNA ... [read more]




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