[Round-up] Foreign Firms Post $1.86 Billion Trade Surplus, Vietnam Needs $39.5 Billion ODA by 2020

Tuan Minh

21:04 19/02/2016

BizLIVE - Foreign-investment firms in Vietnam reported a trade surplus of $1.86 billion in January. The Southeast Asian country will need $39.5 billion in ODA in the coming five years.

[Round-up] Foreign Firms Post $1.86 Billion Trade Surplus, Vietnam Needs $39.5 Billion ODA by 2020

Foreign-investment firms in Vietnam reported a trade surplus of $1.86 billion in January.

Vietnam Reports Trade Surplus of $765 Million in January
Vietnam had a trade surplus of $765 million in January, versus a shortfall of $361.57 million a year earlier, a according to data of GDVC.
The country’s exports slid 1% year-on-year to $13.36 billion last month and its imports dropped 10.7% to $12.6 billion.
Foreign Firms in Vietnam Post $1.86 Billion Trade Surplus in January
Foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) in Vietnam reported a trade surplus of $1.86 billion in January, compared to surpluses of $758.84 million in January 2015 and $1.39 billion in December of that year, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC).
The firms raked in $9.04 billion from exports last month, down 0.9% year-on-year, while spending $7.18 billion on imports, down 13% month-on-month.
Vietnam Central Bank Urges Banks to Quicken Lending
State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) Governor Nguyen Van Binh has requested credit institutions to boost credit right after the Lunar New Year holiday in a move to support businesses.
The SBV’s chief asked the institutions to increase capital mobilization in order to meet credit demands of enterprises and individuals right at the beginning of the lunar year.
SBV data showed lending as of January 20, 2016 slipped 0.21% from the end of last year, compared to a decline of 0.5% in the same period of 2015.
Vietnam Agro Exports to U.S. Poised to Soar
Vietnam’s agricultural exports to the United States are expected to surge with stable demand from the key market, Le Van Banh, head of the Department of Processing and Trading Agricultural, Forestry, Aquatic Products and Salt under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said at a seminar in Hanoi on Thursday.
This year is forecast to be a promising year for the export of agro-forestry-aquaculture products due to increasing demands in the global market, and because Vietnamese businesses would have the opportunity to enjoy tax incentives from free trade agreements signed between the country and its partners, he was quoted by the Vietnam News Agency as saying.
The U.S. market is said to be the most promising and stable market for Vietnam’s exports in recent years, with commodities as wood and wood-based products, aquatic products, and other farm produce such as cashews, pepper and coffee doing well, the official added.
Vietnam to Use Unused G-bonds to Fund Infrastructure Projects
A total of 14.2 trillion dong ($634 million) from government bonds, which is the remaining capital from projects to expand National Highway 1A and Ho Chi Minh Highway passing through the Central Highland region, will be used to finance 17 new projects and repair dozens of weak bridges on highways.
It is a part of state budget estimates in 2016 approved by the National Assembly, the country’s top legislative body.
SBV Approves Merger of Song Da Finance into Military Bank
The Vietnamese central bank SBV has approved the merger of Song Da Finance Company (SDFC) into Military Commercial JS Bank (MBBank), effective on March 18.
To conduct the fusion, MBBank will issue 27.18 million shares to existing shareholders of SDFC and four million shares to its shareholders.
MB Finance Co Ltd (MB Finance), the new finance company, is expected to have a registered capital of 500 billion dong ($22.3 million).
SBV Continues Withdrawing Cash
The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) will issue a combined six trillion dong ($267.85 million) in 26-week and 39-week bills on February 23 in a move to withdraw more cash from the banking system after strong pumping ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.
With the issuance, the SBV would take 20 trillion dong ($893 million) in cash from circulation from the start of this month.
Mobile marketers have a plenty of opportunities to tap the growing penetration of smartphones in Vietnam, where more than one third of the population have an internet-connected phone.
About 36% of the Vietnamese population have a smartphone, and the rate is even higher in urban areas, which brings a tremendous opportunity for mobile marketers, Forbes said in a post.
Forbes cited a research from DI Marketing as saying that for nine out of ten smartphone users, the device is their sole means of accessing the internet. For 80% of those users, visiting social networks was the primary activity.
The Vietnamese government plans to attract around $68 billion in foreign direct investment in the 2016-2020 period, out of $480 billion worth of projected total investments in the period.
Vietnam has needs of $39.5 billion in official development assistance (ODA) and concessional loans for 1,203 projects in the 2016-2020 period, according to a government plan.
The funding will be used for projects of the sectors of transport, urban development, agricultural and rural development, environment, education, health, and science and technology.
According to the plan, total ODA disbursements in the next five year are estimated at $25 billion-$30 billion, or $5 billion-$6 billion per year, rising 14% from the previous five-year period.
Foreign Players Net Buy $10.3 Million Worth of Vietnam Shares on Friday
Foreign investors net bought 229.91 billion ($10.26 million) worth of shares listed on the Hochiminh Stock Exchange on Friday, with Military Bank being the most wanted.
The VN Index gained 0.28% to 554.03 today.