[Round-up] Citibank Arranges Loans for Vietnam Airlines, Vinalines to Slash Stakes in Subsidiaries

Tuan Minh

18:17 14/01/2016

BizLIVE - Citibank has arranged a loan worth $114 million to help Vietnam Airlines expand its fleet. State-owned shipping firm Vinalines has been asked to make deep cuts to ownership in a number of subsidiaries.

[Round-up] Citibank Arranges Loans for Vietnam Airlines, Vinalines to Slash Stakes in Subsidiaries

Citibank has arranged a loan worth $114 million to help Vietnam Airlines expand its fleet.

Just 30% of Vietnam SMEs Can Access Bank Loans
Despite multiple support policies from the government and banks, only 30% of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can regularly access bank loans, said Tran Ngoc Liem, deputy director of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s HCM City branch.
They have to use their own funds or borrow from other sources at high interest rates, he said, noting this is a big drawback at a time when the country is party to the ASEAN Economic Community and many free trade agreements.
Vietnam May Adjust Petrol Prices Daily
Local retail petrol prices could be adjusted daily in the future instead of every fortnight currently, Do Thang Hai, deputy minister of Industry and Trade, told press in Hanoi on Tuesday.
Daily price adjustments depend on the ability of local petrol traders and post check-ups by state management agencies to ensure the operation runs smoothly, he added.
Vietnam, U.S. Officers Gather to Discuss TPP Accord
Senior Vietnamese and U.S. officials were scheduled to meet at a conference in HCM City on Thursday to discuss key economic, political, and educational issues related to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, which is poised to be signed next month.
The event would feature three panel discussions on bilateral relations 20 years after normalization and beyond, strengthening trade and investment relations after the TPP, and tapping the potential of education and people-to-people ties, the Vietnam News Agency reported.
PetroVietnam Stays at Top of Companies in Vietnam
State-run Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) remained at the top of the 500 Vietnamese biggest enterprises in terms of revenue, according to the list of the top 500 companies in Vietnam in 2015, jointly compiled by Vietnam Report Company and news site VietNamNet.
Vietnam Dairy Products JSC (Vinamilk) was ranked the country’s largest private enterprise. Samsung Electronics Vietnam Co, Ltd, Vietnam National Petroleum Group, Electricity of Vietnam, and Viettel Group took the next positions.
Hanoi Hosts Vietnam-China Business Forum
Representatives from more than 20 Chinese enterprises as well as Vietnamese firms attended a business forum held by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in Hanoi on Tuesday, according to the Vietnam News Agency.
The event offered a good opportunity for Chinese firms to seek investment and business opportunities and to establish ties with Vietnamese distributors.
Citibank Arranges Aircraft Financial Loan for Vietnam Airlines
Citibank has acted as mandated lead arranger for an Export Credit Agency (ECA) facility worth $114 million to enable Vietnam Airlines to purchase two Airbus A321s from Airbus SAS, in a bid to expand the airline’s fleet and operation.
The facility benefited from a sovereign guarantee from the Ministry of Finance of Vietnam, meaning cost savings through the Cape Town Convention Discount with the official inclusion of Vietnam in the Cape Town Convention country accession list as of October 27, 2015.
Flappy Bird Creator Partners with Japan Game Developer
.GEARS, a game studio co-founded by Nguyen Ha Dong, the renowned creator of Flappy Bird, has inked a deal with Japanese game developer Obokaidem on a new ninja game that is scheduled for global launch this year.  
.GEARS did not unveil details of the agreement. The firm released game Swing Copters 2 last December.
Vinalines Asked to Quit from Nine Firms
The Vietnamese government has directed state-owned Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) to fully divest from nine companies, including those run seaports namely Khuyen Luong, Da Nang, Cam Ranh, Nam Can, Nghe Tinh, Can Tho and Vinalines-Dinh Vu.
Vinalines’ stakes in operators of Hai Phong Port and Saigon Port will be cut to 20%.
Chair Announced for PetroVietnam
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has appointed Nguyen Quoc Khanh, general director of state-run energy firm PetroVietnam, to the chairman post of the company.
Before getting promoted, Mr. Khanh was the caretaker chairman of PetroVietnam, after the firm’s former Chairman Nguyen Xuan Son was arrested due to violations.
Sabeco Forced to Pay $44 Million to State Coffers
Vietnam’s finance ministry inspectors have forced Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Joint Stock Corporation (Sabeco) to pay 991 trillion dong ($44 million) to the state budget, an official said, without mentioning the reasons.
Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), the sole power distributor in the country, will need some 632 trillion dong ($28 billion) to develop its power infrastructure projects in the 2016-2020 period, up 28.5% from the previous five-year period.
The signing of regional trade agreements has made the Vietnamese market more attractive to international retailers and this segment is expected to be highly competitive, Savills Vietnam said in a report released Wednesday.  
During 2015, foreign and domestic players were active in closing M&A deals in the retail sector. Among them, Thailand’s Central Group purchased 49% of Nguyen Kim electronics supermarket, Japan’s AEON acquired 30% of Fivimart and 49% of Citimart.
Vingroup, Vietnam’s largest private real estate developer, bough an 80% stake of Giang Vo Exhibition Center and 100% of Vinatexmart, the apparel supermarket chain of state-controlled Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex).