Thailand BJC Eyes Acquisition of Casino’s Vietnam Unit
Thailand’s Berli Jucker Pcl (BJC), the flagship in consumer business of TCC Group controlled by Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, is looking to buy out French Casino Group’s Vietnam unit, according to Reuters.
BJC has closed a deal to acquire Metro
Cash & Carry Vietnam, the owner of Metro wholesale supermarket chain. Meanwhile, Casino has unveiled intention to sell its operations in Vietnam.
SHB Debuts Banking Unit in Laos
Saigon-Hanoi Bank has opened a wholly-owned banking subsidiary in Laos after receiving approval of the banking authorities of the two countries, becoming the second joint stock commercial bank to have a unit in the neighboring country.
The unit has a registered capital of $50 million and plans to open 15 transaction offices in the coming five years.
VN Index Drops 1.81% amid China Stock Crash
The benchmark VN Index of the Hochiminh Stock Exchange plunged 1.81% to 543.04 on Friday, pulled down by major heavy weights such as Vinamilk (VNM), Vietcombank (VCB), Masan (MSN) and BIDV (BID).
China’s Shanghai Composite Index lost 3.55% while the CSI 300 Index dropped 3.19% due to selloffs in that market.
Vietnam Bad Debt Bank Issues $4.9 Billion Special Bonds in 2015
Central bank-run Vietnam Asset Management Company (VAMC) issued nearly 110 trillion dong ($4.89 billion) worth of special bonds in 2015 in exchange for over 111 trillion dong ($4.93 billion) worth of non-performing loans in book value.
The firm had issued over 243 trillion dong ($10.8 billion) dong in special bonds from local credit institutions, helping them putting bad debts off balance sheets.
Vietnam Needs New Wave of Investments
Greater efforts at a national level are needed to create a new wave of investments in Vietnam, Vuong Dinh Hue, head of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission, told the Vietnam News Agency.
He said laws on investment and enterprises had been revised as per modern principles with high transparency, and the country had entered into a variety of trade pacts.
Vietnam Urged to Improve Transparency
The Vietnamese government has provided the public with scant information about its coffers and limited opportunities to engage in the budget process, said the International Budget Partnership (IBP) in a report.
The country scored 18 out of 100 in budget transference, or Open Budget Index, according to findings of an IBP survey of 102 countries. This was lower than the global average of 45 and saw no improvements from three years ago.
Thai Seafood Producer Plans Joint Venture in Vietnam
PFP Group, a frozen seafood producer from Thailand, plans to set up a joint venture factory in Vietnam in the next three to five years as Vietnam’s economic growth outpaces its peers, according to the Bangkok Post newspaper.
The group was negotiating with several mid-sized seafood processing companies in Vietnam about the plan, the newspaper cited a PFP Group executive as saying.
Banks Lift Deposit Interest Rates as Year-end Nears
A wide array of banks in Vietnam have increase interest rates on deposits to mobilize funds as demand for credit rises ahead of the Lunar New Year festival.
Deposit rates have increased by 0.2-0.4 percentage point from a month earlier, suggesting an increase in demand for capital as businesses need funds to for salary payments and consumers boost purchases of goods.
Nearly 70 Vietnam Startups Receive Funding in 2015
At least 67 startups in Vietnam received investments last year, rising 130% from a year year liwr, according to Topica Founder Institute (TFI), a local incubator.
New deals in 2015 include over four series C funding rounds as the largest investments. They were Tiger Global Management’s interest in gourmet media startup Foody, Unitus Impact’s investment in fintech firm Mobivi’s iCare Benefits program, $15 million from Templeton Emerging Markets Group into restaurant chain operators Huy Vietnam, and $14 million from German Hubert Burda into search engine startup Coc Coc.
Vietnam’s economy is still found at a downtrend and yet to have sufficient momentum to overcome it, Prof. Tran Tho Dat and Assistant Prof. To Trung Thanh from the Hanoi-based National Economics University (NEU) were quoted as saying at a recent workshop.
Despite posting a 6.68% expansion in 2015, the nation’s economy grew 5.8% on average in the 2011-2015 period, far below increases of 7.01% in the 2006-2010 period and 7.61% in the pre-crisis period of 2000-2006, the economists added.
The Vietnamese Ministry of Finance collected 1,911 billion dong (roughly $85 million) worth of transfer tax from Metro Cash & Carry Vietnam, which sold it Metro wholesale supermarket chain to Thailand’s Berli Jucker Public Company Limited (BJC) for some $879 million.