[Round-up] EVN Strikes Deal with Mitsubishi, Singapore Leads Foreign Investors in Vietnam

Tuan Minh

08:58 16/03/2016

BizLIVE - EVN has signed an EPC deal with a consortium comprised of Doosan and Mitsubishi on the expansion of a thermal power plant. Singaporean firms registered to invest nearly $469 million in Vietnam the first two months of 2016, making Singapore the largest investor in the country.

[Round-up] EVN Strikes Deal with Mitsubishi, Singapore Leads Foreign Investors in Vietnam

Singapore led foreign investors in Vietnam in the first two months of this year. (Photo: singaporeflag.facts.co)

EVN Signs Deal with Doosan, Mitsubishi for Thermal Power Plant Expansion
Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) has signed an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with a consortium for the expansion of 600MW Vinh Tan 4 thermal power plant in the central province of Binh Thuan.
The consortium is comprised of South Korea’s Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction, Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation, Power Engineering Consulting JSC 2, and Pacific Corporation.
The expansion project would start later this month and the plant would begin supplying about 3.6 billion kilowatt hour per year to the south-central region and the southern provinces by the end of 2019, the Vietnam News Agency reported.
U.S. Imposes Higher Duties on Vietnam Shrimp Imports
The U.S. has levied higher anti-dumping duties on warm-water shrimp imported from Vietnam during the period of review from February 1, 2014 to January 31, 2015.
This decision was taken during the 10th administrative review (POR 10), according to a notice of the International Trade Administration (ITA) on March 10.
Singapore Leads Foreign Investors in Vietnam
Singaporean firms registered to invest nearly $469 million in 30 fresh projects and six operational projects in Vietnam the first two months of 2016, making Singapore the largest investor in the country, according to the Foreign Investment Agency under the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment.
Singaporean investors had put over $36 billion in 1,569 projects in Vietnam as of February 20 this year, ranking third among 112 countries and territories investing here.
Thailand Firms Boost Holdings in Vietnam Plastics Producers
Thai companies are scaling up presence in the Vietnamese plastics industry, with many of them interested to fully acquire state holdings in manufacturers the government plans to sell shares, according to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA).
By increasing investment in the country’s plastic industry, Thai firms hope to both exploit the potential domestic market and take advantage of free trade agreements that Vietnam has signed, said Ho Duc Lam, chairman of the Vietnam Plastics Association.
Thai SCG Group, for instance, has hold stakes in many Vietnamese firms such as Tin Thanh Packing, Viet-Thai Plastchem, Binh Minh Plastics and Tien Phong Plastics.
Vietnam Stocks Seen Reaching 2008 High by Year-End on Economy
With Vietnamese shares close to erasing their losses this year, strategists say the benchmark gauge will continue climbing to reach the highest level since 2008 as a rising economy and earnings draw investors, Bloomberg reported.
After surging 11 percent from this year’s low on Jan. 21, the VN Index will extend gains to about 642 by the end of 2016, or 11 percent above its close on March 14, according to the average of 10 analyst forecasts in a Bloomberg survey.
“The outlook for this year looks better as we expect strong earnings growth, driven by an emerging consumer and strong manufacturing,” said Barry Weisblatt, head of research at Viet Capital Securities.
Domestic Banks Look Hard for Foreign Strategic Partners
Domestic commercial banks are finding it hard to look for foreign strategic partners due to difficulties in the financial market and the current rules on foreign ownership limits, according to the VNA.
Restrictions in finance and governance force domestic banks to look for support from foreign partners to help them grow rapidly in the context of rising competition from the country’s integration into the world market.
Vietnam is likely to experience an oversupply of petroleum products by 2018 when just two refineries come into operation, the Saigon Times newspaper reported, citing state-run Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam), as more facilities are on the cards.
The supply of gasoline and oil products in the country is estimated to reach 17.6 million cubic meters by 2018, of which 7.27 million cubic meters will come from the Dung Quat refinery in the central province of Quang Ngai, and 9.62 million cubic meters from the Nghi Son refinery, which is under construction in the north central province of Thanh Hoa.
Vietnam recorded a trade deficit of $190.92 million in February 2016, compared to a gap of $789 million in the same month of 2015, according to data of the General Department of Vietnam Customs.
The Southeast Asian country’s exports rose 6.31% year-on-year to $10.1 billion in February, when the weak-long Lunar New Year holiday fell in, while its imports slipped 0.02% to $10.29 billion.  
Seoul-based CJ Group, a conglomerate embracing various industries including food, pharmaceutics and home shopping, will put an additional $500 million in three major sectors of agriculture, entertainment and logistics in Vietnam in 2016.
The South Korean chaebol has invested a total of $400 million in the Southeast Asian country over the past 20 years. CJ Group aims to invest heavily in Vietnam by 2020, making the country its second largest investment destination after China, the Vietnam News Agency reported.
Hikes in interest rates by Vietnamese banks, which are under liquidity constraints, may limit businesses in the country from expanding this year, said Le Duc Thuy, former governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) said at a conference on the domestic financial market.
Interest rates went up at the end of 2015 and this trend continues into 2016 as banks face liquidity troubles, Mr. Thuy raised concern at the event held by the National Financial Supervisory Commission (NFSC) in Hanoi on Monday.