Ministry suggests building property tax law

As the U.S. growing season entered its peak this summer, farmers began posting startling pictures on social media: fields of beans, peach orchards and vegetable gardens withering away. John Weiss looks over his crop of soybeans, which he had reported to the state board for showing signs of damage due to the drifting of Monsanto's pesticide Dicamba, at his farm in Dell, Arkansas, U.S. July 25, 2017. The photographs served as early warnings of a crisis that has damaged millions of acres of farmland. New versions of the herbicide dicamba developed by Monsanto and BASF, according to farmers, have drifted across fields to crops unable to withstand it, a charge authorities are investigating. As the crisis intensifies, new details provided to Reuters by independent researchers and regulators, and previously unreported testimony by a company employee, demonstrate the unusual way Monsanto introduced its product. The approach, in which Monsanto prevented key independent testing of its product, went unchallenged by the Environmental Protection Agency and nearly every state regulator. Typically, when a company develops a new agricultural product, it commissions its own tests and shares the results and data with regulators. It also provides product samples to universities for additional scrutiny. Regulators and university researchers then work together to determine the safety of the product. In this case, Monsanto denied requests by university researchers to study its XtendiMax with VaporGrip for volatility - a measure of its tendency to vaporize and drift across fields. The researchers interviewed by Reuters - Jason Norsworthy…... [read more]

U.S. trade officials have agreed to investigate Qualcomm Inc's allegations that Apple Inc infringed on patents with its iPhone 7 and other devices, the U.S. International Trade Commission said on Tuesday. The new iPhone 7 smartphone is displayed inside an Apple Inc. store in Los Angeles, California, U.S., September 16, 2016. The ITC will make its decision "at the earliest practicable time" and will set a target date for completing its investigation within the next 45 days, the commission said in a statement. Qualcomm filed the complaint in early July, asking U.S. trade regulators to ban certain models of the iPhone that contain so-called broadband modem chips, which help phones connect to wireless data networks, that were not made by Qualcomm. Apple began using broadband modem chips made by Intel Corp in the iPhone 7. Qualcomm has not alleged that Intel chips violate its patents but says the way Apple uses them in the iPhone does. "We look forward to the ITC’s expeditious investigation of Apple’s ongoing infringement of our intellectual property and the accelerated relief that the commission can provide,” Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel of Qualcomm, said in a statement. Intel declined to comment. Apple pointed to Chief Executive Tim Cook's earlier comments that Qualcomm had not yet offered it "fair and reasonable" licensing terms for Qualcomm's technology. "I don't believe anyone is going to decide to enjoin the iPhone based on that," Cook told investors in May on the company's earnings call, his most…... [read more]

The average room rate at three to five-star hotels in HCMC was VND1.9 million per night in the first half this year, 11.3% lower than in 2014, as there were new hotels up and running in the city, resulting in price competition. A general view of the five-star Rex Hotel in downtown HCMC  According to data from the HCMC Department of Tourism, this rate was 3.6% higher than in the same period last year. But in comparison to the level in the same period of 2014, it was 11.3% lower as competition among old and new hotels was growing. Total tourist arrivals to HCMC in 2016 were 1.12 times higher than in 2014, though. The department said the hotel room price in this segment in HCMC is the same as in other ASEAN markets, but higher than in Danang with US$76.94 per night and lower than in Hanoi with US$86.22 per night. Currently, the city has 2,128 hotels and other lodging facilities with more than 50,000 guest rooms. Among them are 1,941 star-rated hotels with nearly 49,000 rooms and 185 hostels with more than 1,000 rooms. Last year, the city attracted 5.2 million international and 21.8 million domestic tourists. The city looks to annual growth of 9% and 16% in international and domestic arrivals respectively, and average room occupancy of 80% by 2020. According to the department, the city should encourage construction, expansion and renovation of three to five-star hotels, homestay services and boutique hotels. Enterprises should not invest in…... [read more]

The government of HCMC, which is facing rising inundation triggered by rain and flood tides, is seeking an allocation of nearly VND10 trillion (US$43.96 million) from the central State budget to fund 36 flood control projects in 2016-2020. A centrifugal water pumping system is installed on Nguyen Huu Canh Street in Binh Thanh District, HCMC The city has asked the Prime Minister to assign the Ministries of Planning and Investment, and Finance to work out a budget allocation plan for these much-needed projects. The city has also sought approval from the PM to approve small anti-flood projects without feasibility studies required to speed up the construction process. It often takes a long time to do feasibility studies as the frequency of urban flooding is rising, thus causing traffic jams, affecting local residents’ lives and damaging their properties. Ho Long Phi, director of the Center of Water Management and Climate Change of the Vietnam National University in HCMC, told the Daily that the city had spent US$3-4 billion implementing canal dredging projects, half of the total amount needed. Some districts in the city such as Thu Duc, Tan Phu, Binh Tan, 9 and 12 often suffer from heavy flooding as their drainage systems have not been upgraded. The city has been able to rehabilitate some sewer systems in the city center. Therefore, the city should call for the private sector to get involved in anti-flood projects to cope with funding shortages, said Phi. A representative of the Steering Center of the…... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge – Farmers in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta are harvesting their summer-autumn rice crop earlier than usual because of earlier than usual flooding. A farmer in Long An Province harvests his summer-autumn rice crop early because of rising floodwaters. – Photo sggp.org.vn Floodwaters in upstream provinces such as Dong Thap and An Giang are expected to rise rapidly in the coming days.                                             Around 3,500 ha of summer-autumn rice crop has been destroyed in Long An Province’s Tan Hung District, according to the district’s Office of Agriculture and Rural Development. Farmers in the province have harvested around 22,000 ha out of 56,900 ha of rice, with the rest to be harvested by the month’s end. But around 8,000 ha of rice could be damaged by floods. In An Giang Province, about 610 ha of rice were destroyed by floods. Khuong Le Binh, director of Dong Thap Province’s Hydro-meteorological Station, said the floodwaters were rising about 10cm each day. Authorities of delta provinces have asked districts and wards to develop plans to protect people and property from rising floodwaters. VNS related news Floodwater starts surging in Mekong Delta, pleasing local residents Land subsidence, rising seas threaten Mekong Delta Mekong Delta shifts strategy, takes advantage of benefits of flooding... [read more]

Mergers and acquisitions are increasingly being seen as ways for property projects in the central city of Danang to overcome long delays. According to Dam Quang Tuan, board chairman of Duc Manh 579, a real estate investor in Danang, although many solutions were given by the government and local authorities, such as interest rate reductions and the state support packages, many projects still remain postponed. “There are many reasons for this standstill,” Tuan said. “First, the developers of those projects don’t have enough capacity. Second, many projects with mortgages from banks can’t be sold and the developers lack the capital to finish their projects.” According to Tuan, mergers and acquisitions (M&As)  are a feasible way for both sellers and new investors who are seeking opportunities in the city’s real estate market. M&A in the real estate sector in Danang has become increasingly popular. Novaland Group recently acquired a part of the Da Phuoc Urban Area project from its original South Korean backers Daewon Cantavil. The project will begin with roughly 2,700 townhouses and more than 1,000 villas of all sizes and types. It will be a new residential area, including hotels, villas, landed houses, schools, a shopping centre, and a conference hall. It is expected to be completed by 2023. Gaw Capital Partners has acquired the Hyatt Regency, and TBC Group acquired the Montgomerie Links golf course, both from Indochina Land. BRG Group acquired…... [read more]

Investors around Asia may share the same excitement about Vietnam’s M&A market, but their strategies are often quite different from one another. Thanh Van and Nam Phuong report. In recent years, enthusiastic Asian firms have been flocking to Vietnam as part of their global ambitions. These merger-and-acquisition investors often share similar characteristics – their home markets have matured and growth is slowing down, pushing them to seek high-growth or low-production-cost economies for expansion elsewhere. Vietnam, thanks to its geographical and cultural proximity, emerges as an attractive destination for many buyers. However, despite these similar beginnings, these Asian investors are quite unique in their approach. It is particularly interesting to draw comparisons between those from Thailand, Singapore, Japan, and South Korea – the four most prominent players in Vietnam’s merger-and-acquisition (M&A) scene. ASEAN rises In 2016 and the first half of 2017, Thailand and Singapore were the most active ASEAN participants in Vietnam’s M&A transactions. Thailand stood out among all investors thanks to their “go hard or go home” strategy, which included aggressive takeovers of major Vietnamese firms in retail and consumer goods. For example, Central Group spent $1.05 billion acquiring Big C supermarkets, previously owned by the French company Casino Group, in May 2016. Prior to this deal, TCC Holdings parted with $800 million in exchange for the wholesaler Metro Cash & Carry Vienam. Singha also became a major shareholder at Vietnam’s Masan…... [read more]

HCMC needs VND10 trillion for 36 flood control projectsVan Nam A centrifugal water pumping system is installed on Nguyen Huu Canh Street in Binh Thanh District, HCMC - PHOTO: THANH HOA HCMC – The government of HCMC, which is facing rising inundation triggered by rain and flood tides, is seeking an allocation of nearly VND10 trillion (US$43.96 million) from the central State budget to fund 36 flood control projects in 2016-2020. The city has asked the Prime Minister to assign the Ministries of Planning and Investment, and Finance to work out a budget allocation plan for these much-needed projects. The city has also sought approval from the PM to approve small anti-flood projects without feasibility studies required to speed up the construction process. It often takes a long time to do feasibility studies as the frequency of urban flooding is rising, thus causing traffic jams, affecting local residents’ lives and damaging their properties. Ho Long Phi, director of the Center of Water Management and Climate Change of the Vietnam National University in HCMC, told the Daily that the city had spent US$3-4 billion implementing canal dredging projects, half of the total amount needed. Some districts in the city such as Thu Duc, Tan Phu, Binh Tan, 9 and 12 often suffer from heavy flooding as their drainage systems have not been upgraded. The city has been able to rehabilitate some sewer systems in the city center. Therefore, the city should call for the private sector to get involved in anti-flood…... [read more]

Penny stocks drive index upPhuong Thao HCMC – The strong rises of penny stocks drove the VN-Index to a fresh high this year at 792.98 on August 7, up 4.3 points, or 0.55%, compared to last Friday. Many small stocks such as KSA, HAI, AMD and HAR went up to the ceiling prices. Meanwhile, rubber producer VHG, property firm HQC and seafood processor ASM failed to hit the upper limits though increasing strongly on high volume of 10.8 million shares, 9.8 million shares and 8.8 million shares respectively. Among large caps, petroleum drilling firm PVD closed at near the intraday high of VND15,900 a share, rising 2.2% against the previous session, on volume of nearly eight million shares. Along with gas group GAS and Vietnam’s top brewer SAB, the three stocks lifted the main index up by over two points. On the Hanoi market, many HNX30 stocks decreased in the afternoon. Notably, VCS, which is active in the manufacturing sector, fell 5.3% to the intraday low of VND178,000 per share. However, the HNX-Index still advanced for the third straight session thanks to bank and petroleum stocks, gaining 0.46% versus last Friday at 102.4. Turnover on the northern market improved 34% in volume and 3.5% in value to 88.6 million shares worth VND830 billion. Bank stock SHB remained the most actively traded stock, rising 1.2% at VND8,200 a share on matching volume of 15 million shares, followed by trading and service firm KLF, which hit the ceiling price of VND3,500 a…... [read more]

HCMC hotel room rates below 2014 levelsDao Loan A general view of the five-star Rex Hotel in downtown HCMC - PHOTO: DAO LOAN HCMC – The average room rate at three to five-star hotels in HCMC was VND1.9 million per night in the first half this year, 11.3% lower than in 2014, as there were new hotels up and running in the city, resulting in price competition. According to data from the HCMC Department of Tourism, this rate was 3.6% higher than in the same period last year. But in comparison to the level in the same period of 2014, it was 11.3% lower as competition among old and new hotels was growing. Total tourist arrivals to HCMC in 2016 were 1.12 times higher than in 2014, though. The department said the hotel room price in this segment in HCMC is the same as in other ASEAN markets, but higher than in Danang with US$76.94 per night and lower than in Hanoi with US$86.22 per night. Currently, the city has 2,128 hotels and other lodging facilities with more than 50,000 guest rooms. Among them are 1,941 star-rated hotels with nearly 49,000 rooms and 185 hostels with more than 1,000 rooms. Last year, the city attracted 5.2 million international and 21.8 million domestic tourists. The city looks to annual growth of 9% and 16% in international and domestic arrivals respectively, and average room occupancy of 80% by 2020. According to the department, the city should encourage construction, expansion and renovation of…... [read more]




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