[Round-up] AON Holdings Takes over Vietnam’s Tallest Building, Lenovo Laptops Turned down

Tuan Minh

17:02 06/01/2016

BizLIVE - South Korea’s AON Holdings will be the new owner of the Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower, Vietnam’s tallest building. Localities in Vietnam have checked Lenovo laptops on concerns of pre-installed spyware.

[Round-up] AON Holdings Takes over Vietnam’s Tallest Building, Lenovo Laptops Turned down

South Korea’s AON Holdings will be the new owner of the Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower, Vietnam’s tallest building.

AON Holdings Becomes New Owner of Hanoi Landmark 72
AON Holdings, South Korea’s mid-sized financial group, will be the new owner of the Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower, Vietnam’s tallest building, from Keangnam Enterprises, CBRE has confirmed at a press briefing on Jan. 6.
Samjong KPMG, the principal underwriter for selling debts of Landmark 72, has recently selected AON Holdings as the preferred bidder to the deal.
The balance of loans taken out by Keangnam Enterprises when it built Landmark 72 in 2012 reached about 600 billion won ($510 million). It was reported that the price AON paid for was about 450 billion won ($376 million).
Vietnam Top Miner Targets $4.9 Billion Revenue in 2016
State-run Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin), the country’s largest mining firm, anticipates a turnover of 110 trillion dong ($4.89 billion) this year, up 4.265 year-on-year.
The firm plans to exploit 39.87 million tons of coal, while consuming 38 million tons.
Prudential to Invest $266.7 Million in Vietnam G-Bonds in 2016
UK insurer Prudential has bought 500 billion dong ($22.22 million) worth of Vietnam’s 30-year government bonds and pledges to invest another 5.5 trillion dong ($244.44 million) in 30-year bonds this year, raising the total figure to six trillion dong ($266.7 million).
This is the first time the Vietnamese government issues 30-year debt.
In July 2015, Prudential Vietnam spent 3.2 trillion dong ($145.5 million) in Vietnamese 20-year government bonds.
Vietnam Border Trade to Reach $30 Billion in 2016
Border gate trade among Vietnam, China, Laos and Cambodia in 2016 is expected to reach $30 billion, said Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Cam Tu.
Vietnam’s trade turnover through the border gates was $27.56 billion in 2015, posting a year-on-year increase of 27%, according to the ministry. Of this, trade turnover through the Vietnam-China border gates accounted for 85%.
Vietnam Wood Exports Set to Top $7.7 Billion This Year
Vietnam expects to rake in $7.7 billion from exporting wood and woodwork products this year, higher than $7.1 billion in 2015, thanks to the operation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), according to the Vietnam Wood and Forestry Products Association (Viforest).
Vietnam Beer Output Soars to 3.4 Billion Liters in 2015
Vietnam’s beverage industry produced over 3.4 billion liters of beer in 2015, representing increases of 10% from 2014 and 40% compared to 2010, according to the Vietnam Beer, Alcohol and Beverage Association (VBA).
The output of wine and soft drinks was 75 million liters and 4.8 billion liters, respectively. Home-made wine produced in the year was estimated at 200 million liters.
There are currently 129 beer establishments in the country, most of which are concentrated in large cities such as Hanoi, HCM City, and Thua Thien Hue. The majority of the market share is still controlled by Saigon Beer, Alcohol and Beverage Corporation (Sabeco), Hanoi Beer, Alcohol and Beverage Corporation (Habeco) and multinational breweries Heineken and Carlsberg.
VN Index Gains after Three Days of Losses; Dong Firmer versus USD
The benchmark VN Index of the Hochiminh Stock Exchange rose back by 0.81% to 574.57 on Wednesday, after three days of fall in a row, buoyed by financials and other blue-chips. The HNX Index increased 0.32% to 78.68.
Prices of SJC gold in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City decreased while official and unofficial prices of the U.S. dollar also slid on Wednesday.
Vietnam Localities Caution about Lenovo Laptops
Authorities in the northern province of Quang Ninh and Hai Phong city are checking Lenovo computers in their offices for fear that they may be infected with the Chinese manufacturer’s spyware, local media reported Tuesday.
As a precautionary measure, local agencies have been ordered to gradually replacing desktops and desktops made by Lenovo.
The move came after the Ministry of Public Security warned that many Lenovo computers were pre-installed with software which could pose threats to the devices’ information security, said Dang Huy Hau, vice chairman of Quang Ninh Province.
Vietnam’s widening trade deficit is putting pressure on the Vietnamese dong (VND) and FX reserves, the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) has said in its latest report.
Heightened weakening of the Chinese yuan and China’s fixing reforms have intensified the pressure on the VND, which has caused the USD/VND rate to trade at the upper side of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV)’s band since 2015.
Given that the central bank’s reserves are looking increasingly thin, with import cover having fallen to 2.1months as of Q3/2015, the SBV is likely to pare back intervention and allow the currency to depreciate further in the months ahead, said the bank.
Louis Nguyen, chairman and chief executive officer of Saigon Asset Management, talked to BizLIVE about the impact of the Vietnamese central bank’s new forex rate regime on foreign investors.
“I prefer the market-based forex rate regime. All investors like the market-based mechanism and don’t want interventions. The state intervention is just needed when money market moves off the safe level,” he said.  
Microsoft Mobile Oy Vietnam Co. Ltd, formerly Nokia Vietnam, has paid 191 billion dong ($8.5 million) in corporate income tax corresponding to fiscal years 2013 and 2014 although the firm is supposed to enjoy tax breaks in the first four years of operation, the Hai Quan (Customs) newspaper reported.
As many as 1,037 foreign investors were granted licenses in 2015 to trade stocks in Vietnam, rising 23.6% from 2014. Of the amount, overseas individuals were 745, up 42.72% year-on-year, and 292 were institutions, down 7.89%.