SonKim Land named winner of Vietnam M&A Forum 2017

Fusion, a wellness-inspired resort and hotel chain, has opened its sixth property on Phu Quoc Island. — VNS Photo Fusion, a wellness resort and hotel chain, has launched its sixth property for relaxation and rejuvenation on Phu Quoc Island. The 20ha resort opened in June in Vung Bau Beach in the north of the island. Its 97 villas were built using natural coastal materials and by drawing inspiration from the island’s traditional architecture and fishing culture. They range from one- to five-bedroom for solo travelers, couples, families or groups of friends travelling together, each with a private pool and garden. Fusion’s founder and CEO, Marco Van Aggele, said: “It’s also extremely exciting to bring the concept of a wellness resort to Phu Quoc”. The resort offers daily spa journeys to all guests at no extra cost. With an international morning buffet served in the Secret Garden restaurant, Fusion’s “breakfast anytime, anywhere” concept invites guests to enjoy the meal at any time of the day or night and anywhere they want -- in the bathtub, pool, beach or the bar. For evening meals, Vietnamese specialties and international favourites with seating both indoors and out, serve fresh seafood such as lobster, crab, clam, oyster, fish, sea urchin and more. Since its launch in 2008 Fusion has become a leading wellness-inspired hotel group, and is now the only fully vertically integrated Hospitality Company in Southeast Asia. Its six properties are in…... [read more]

Pursuing organic agricultural production and improving the quality of agricultural products to ensure food hygiene and safety and environmental friendliness are targets of Vietnam's agricultural sector in general and aspirations of farmers in particular. And, one of the most effective measures in organic agricultural production is the widespread use of biological products and microbiological organic fertilisers, instead of plant protection chemicals and chemical fertilisers which negatively affect the environment. It is easy to identify outstanding advantages of organic fertilisers over chemical fertilisers if the two are compared. Although chemical fertilisers make plants grow strongly, their effects do not last long. In addition, they leave residues in the soil that cause unpredictable consequences such as preventing crops from absorbing necessary nutrients, destroying useful microorganisms necessary for the plant growth, increasing the susceptibility of plants to diseases. Moreover, they can affect the environment and human health. Meanwhile, organic fertilisers improve the fertility of arable soil, thus helping plants to grow well and strengthen their resistance to pests and diseases. They also help farmers and their crops live in a safe and clean environment. Using organic fertilisers will create an environmental balance and importantly treat organic residues that pollute the environment into fertilisers. Especially, farm products organically produced will limit toxic residues and ensure safety to investors. With more outstanding advantages, higher efficiency and safety for the environment and user health, microbiological fertiliser is therefore considered the first choice as a substitute for chemical fertilisers.…... [read more]

President Donald Trump on Monday authorized an inquiry into China's alleged theft of intellectual property in the first direct trade measure by his administration against Beijing, but one that is unlikely to prompt near-term change. Trump broke from his 17-day vacation in New Jersey to sign the memo in the White House at a time of heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing over North Korea's nuclear ambitions. The investigation is likely to cast a shadow over relations with China, the largest U.S. trading partner, just as Trump is asking Beijing to step up pressure against Pyongyang. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will have a year to look into whether to launch a formal investigation of China's trade policies on intellectual property, which the White House and U.S. industry lobby groups say are harming U.S. businesses and jobs. Trump called the inquiry "a very big move." Trump administration officials have estimated that theft of intellectual property by China could be as high as $600 billion. Experts on China trade policy said the long lead time could allow Beijing to discuss some of the issues raised by Washington without being seen to cave to pressure under the threat of reprisals. Although Trump repeatedly criticized China's trade practices on the campaign trail, his administration has not taken any significant action. Despite threats to do so, it has declined to name China a currency manipulator and delayed broader national security probes into imports of foreign steel and aluminum that could indirectly affect China.…... [read more]

At least 312 people were killed and more than 2,000 left homeless on Monday when heavy flooding hit Sierra Leone's capital of Freetown, leaving excavators to pull bodies from rubble and overwhelming the city's morgues. An AFP journalist saw several homes submerged in Regent village, a hilltop community, and corpses floating in the water in the Lumley West area of the city, as the president assured emergency services were doing all they could to tackle one of the worst natural disasters ever to hit the city. Red Cross spokesman Patrick Massaquoi told AFP the death toll was 312 but could rise further as his team continued to survey disaster areas in Freetown and tally the number of dead. Sierra Leone is one of the poorest countries in the world, according to UN indicators. "I counted over 300 bodies and more are coming," Mohamed Sinneh, a morgue technician at Freetown's Connaught Hospital, told AFP, having earlier described an "overwhelming number of dead" at the facility leaving no space to lay out every body. Many more of the dead were taken to private morgues, Sinneh said. President Ernest Bai Koroma said in an address to the nation broadcast on television late Monday that an emergency response centre had been established at Regent, the worst-affected area. He appealed for unity from a nation still struggling with the legacy of Ebola and a long civil war. "Our nation has once again been gripped by grief. Many of our compatriots have lost their lives,…... [read more]

Despite being taken over by a new investor, the construction of the long-delayed Park City in Ho Chi Minh City remains uncertain. Park City would make a significant addition to Gaw Capital Partners’ property portfolio (Photo: Le Toan) A representative of Gaw Capital Partners told VIR that the firm submitted the adjusted design of the project to the relevant authorities for approval. Gaw Capital Parnters is waiting for the adjusted investment certificate as well as the approval from local authorities for the new design, thus it has yet to determine the specific time of starting the construction. Park City was initially granted an investment certificate in 2008 as a joint venture between Saigon Development JSC and Saigon Entertainment Park Holding Pte., Ltd. from Singapore. The development, which has a total investment capital sum of $310 million and lifespan of 50 years, was intended to be a multi-functional entertainment centre. The 49.5-hectare project’s investors were replaced by Indochina Land Holdings 2 and 3 in 2009, and in 2010 its function was changed into a trading centre and residential development. Faced with investor restructuring, difficulties in land clearance and compensation, and the downturn of the real estate market, the project has been in limbo ever since. In mid-2015, Gaw Capital Partners, a Hong Kong-based real estate private equity firm, announced taking over the Park City project, along with two other projects, namely…... [read more]

Torrential rains flooded some northern cities and provinces yesterday, affecting people’s lives and causing traffic chaos. Torrential rains destroyed a road in Ba Chẽ District of the north eastern province of Quảng Ninh.- VNA/VNS Photo Văn Đức In Quảng Ninh Province’s Hạ Long City, rains flooded main streets and caused the death of a 12-year-old school girl. The victim was among three school girls of Lý Tự Trọng Junior Highschool who were swept away by floods on their way home. Two others were rescued. Rains also submerged hundreds of households in mountainous district of Ba Chẽ’s Lương Mông, Minh Cầm and Đạp Thanh communes. Hundreds more households in Cẩm Phả City’s Mông Dương Ward were also flooded and covered with dirt and mud. Rain also caused traffic chaos and congestion in Điện Biên Province’s Điện Biên Phủ City. Hundreds of motorbikes and electric bikes were damaged by the floods. Heavy rains are forecast for northern Việt Nam in the next few days, and localities are being urged to prepare for possible floods and landslides. In a notice sent to local authorities, ministries and relevant agencies, the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control said rainstorms are expected from August 13 to 16, especially in mountainous provinces.  According to the Hydrometeorological Forecast Centre, rainfall is expected to range between 150-250mm in the region with some areas even experiencing rainfall of…... [read more]

Trade tensions between the United States and China heated up on Tuesday as Beijing warned that it "will not sit idle" if a US probe into its intellectual property practices leads to sanctions. President Donald Trump's decision to order the investigation comes on top of strains between the two nations over how to handle Beijing's ally North Korea. Trump on Monday signed a memorandum directing US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to determine whether Chinese policies hurt American investors or companies -- with retaliatory measures a possible outcome. "We will stand up to any country that unlawfully forces American companies to transfer their valuable technology as a condition of market access. We will combat the counterfeiting and piracy that destroys American jobs," Trump said. "Washington will turn a blind eye no longer," Trump said, vowing to safeguard copyrights, patents and other intellectual property that are "vital to our security and to our prosperity". The president said the US would no longer tolerate Beijing's "theft" of US industrial secrets, long a concern of major foreign corporations seeking a share of the huge Chinese market. "We will engage in a thorough investigation and, if needed, take action to preserve the future of US industry," Lighthizer said. China's commerce ministry issued a statement voicing "serious concern" and warning that any US trade protectionism "will definitely harm bilateral trade relations". "If the US side take actions that impair the mutual trade relations, disregarding the facts and disrespecting multilateral trade rules, China will not sit…... [read more]

After working in HCM City for three years Mr X, a Japanese national, wanted to settle down in the city and decided to buy a house. Thanks to an acquaintance, he knew that a residential project in District 7 was handing over apartments to buyers and granting them ownership titles. He decided to buy an apartment in that project. But he was told that while the developer could sign a sales contract with him, he could not get the title deeds until authorities gave approval for selling the apartments to foreigners. Mr X gave up his plan to buy a house in HCM City. He said: “I decided not to buy a house because the project owner himself is not sure if his apartments would be allowed to be sold to foreigners. If the project is not in a list to be sold to foreigners I would probably lose.” Some market observers said not only foreigners but also property developers do not know which projects can be sold to foreign nationals. This has curtailed foreigners’ property ownership in the country, they said. According to the city Department of Construction, as of May the city had issued property title deeds to only 15 overseas Vietnamese and foreigners. Analysts were unhappy with this, saying that the Law on Housing has adequate provisions on the responsibilities of related agencies in specifying areas where foreigners can own commercial housing. Government Decree No 99/2015/ND-CP issued in 2015 to guide the Law on Housing says “Foreign…... [read more]

Provinces and cities in northern Vietnam have been requested to prepare to deal with flood and landslides in the region. Since the beginning of August, heavy rains and flash floods have claimed at least 34 lives and left 11 others missing and more than 20 injured in the northern region In a notice sent to localities, ministries, Vietnam News Agency (VNA), Vietnam Television (VTV) and Radio the Voice of Vietnam (VOV), the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control said that rainstorms may occur from August 13-16 in the northern region, especially in mountainous provinces. The steering committee warned Lai Chau, Son La, Dien Bien, Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Ha Giang, Tuyen Quang, Cao Bang and Bac Kan provinces of high risks of landslides and flash floods. To minimise human and property losses, it asked local steering boards of natural disaster prevention and control and search and rescue to assign their members to focus on areas at risk of landslides and flash floods and that are easily cut off by floods. Localities were asked to monitor rain and flood developments and spread information to locals, especially those vulnerable to natural disasters, to implement preventive measures.  Search and rescue forces have to be ready around the clock in high-risk areas to take action if disasters occur, the steering committee noted. The VNA, VTV, and VOV, as well as news and media agencies of the localities were requested to increase coverage of disaster-related information and skills to deal with torrential…... [read more]

Hanoi, August 14 (VNA) - The legality of condotels needs to be clarified to better manage this new type of property gaining popularity in Vietnam, a representative from the Ministry of Construction has said.  Pham Van Thuong, from the Housing and Real Estate Market Management Department, said at a conference held late last week by the Vneconomy online newspaper that relevant ministries were developing regulations about condotel standards, ownership and financial management.  Experts said clarifying the legality of condotels was urgently needed as this type of property is developing rapidly, but the absence of regulations carries risks for ownership and profit sharing.  Condotels are operated as hotels with units being individually owned. Unit owners can rent out their apartments like any other hotel room.  According to Le Hoang Chau, President of the HCM City Real Estate Association, regulations are needed to ensure transparency in profit sharing in the long term and the rights of buyers, adding that profit sharing now relies mainly on developers’ guarantees, with yet a solid framework for buyers’ benefits protection.  Nguyen Ngoc Thanh, Deputy President of the Vietnam Real Estate Association, said that condotels have great development potential in Vietnam as tourism is one of the country’s spearhead industries.  Thanh said that it’s too early to worry about an excess of condotel supply over demand because the demand was still very high. “What should be worried is the legality of condotels,” Thanh said.  Huong Tran Kieu Dung,…... [read more]

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