Vietnam to Privatize Operator of Dung Quat Oil Refinery
State-run energy firm PetroVietnam has decided to complete the equitization process of Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical Company (BSR), which run the country’s first oil refinery Dung Quat, next year in the context funding is needed for the expansion of the refinery.
BSR has a registered capital of 35 trillion dong ($1.56 billion) as of December 2014 and is one of Vietnam’s six biggest businesses.
Dung Quat went into operation in the central province of Quang Ngai in 2008 with a capacity of 148,000 barrels per day or 6.5 million tons per year.
Air New Zealand to Launch Non-stop Air Service to HCM City
Air New Zealand on Friday announced it would open a direct air route connecting that country with Ho Chi Minh City as Vietnam has become more attractive to New Zealand holidaymakers.
The airline will use Boeing 767-300 jets on the route, which is slated to last till October 2016 and can be extended later.
AFD Pledges $1 Million to Improve Vietnam’s Geographic Indication System
French development agency Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) has committed to $1.09 million for a $1.3-million project aimed at improving the registration and management of geographic indication in Vietnam.
The AFD will support Vietnam in innovating its geographical indication registration and management system via a brand new approach with experience learnt from the EU, and particularly France, according to the Vietnam News Agency.
Vietnam-U.S. Trade Office Opens in Binh Duong Province
A Vietnam-U.S. trade office was opened on Wednesday in the southern province of Binh Duong, home to more than 80 U.S.-invested projects.
The place functions as a Vietnamese representative office for the U.S.-Vietnam Chamber of Commerce in the U.S., a California-based trade organization. The office is aimed at creating favorable conditions for investors in general and those from the U.S. in particular when doing business in the province.
Vietnam’s BVIF Launches $44 Million Investment Fund
Hanoi-based Bao Viet Fund Management Company (Bao Viet Fund) launched last weekend Bao Viet Value Investment Fund (BVIF) worth one trillion dong ($44.6 million), aiming to conduct mergers and acquisitions and take advantage of the ongoing overhaul of state-owned enterprises (SOEs).
BVIF will take part in initial public offerings of SOEs and their divestment phases, and to eventually become a major shareholder in companies, and get involved in their management.
500 Startups to Raise $10 Million Vietnam Fund
US-based accelerator and investment fund 500 Startups plans to raise a $10-million Vietnam fund, marking its third vehicle in Southeast Asia, according to the Deal Street Asia business newswire.
The fund has made four investments in Vietnam to date, including social apps Tappy, Babyme, online ticket platform Ticketbox and lifestyle and event media Pose.com.vn, and is targeting to increase this number to 20 over the next 12 months, demonstrating the need for a specific fund for this region.
Vietnam’s Top Airport Developer to Go Public Next Month
Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV
), the largest airport developer in the country, will sell a 3.47% stake to the public for at least $41 million on December 10.
ACV will set aside a 20% stake for a strategic investor and the state would retain 75% control of the company. The remaining 1.53% will be offered to employees.
France’s Aeroports de Paris SA has expressed interest in acquiring a strategic stake in ACV, which runs 22 airports across the country and carries out a multi-billion-USD airport near Ho Chi Minh City.
Japan Biz Keen to Invest in Da Nang
Representative of over 120 Japanese businesses gathered in Tokyo on November 12 to attend a seminar to explore Da Nang city’s potential, business climate and investment policies.
Former Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Hiroyuki Yushita said the event would help Japanese businesses learn more about investment policies in Da Nang so that they could expand their operations.
Vietnam to Focus Investment on 8 Coastal Economic Zones
The Vietnamese government has chosen eight economic zones along coastal areas whose development will be a focal point over the next five years.
These economic zones alone will receive 70% of the total funding earmarked for all zones across the country each year, according to the government’s website.
WB Approves $200-Million Credit to Improve Living Conditions for Vietnamese
The World Bank on November 12 approved a $200-million credit for a program aimed to improve living conditions of disadvantage people in Vietnam.
The funding will go to the Results-based Scaling up Rural Sanitation and Water Supply Program, which aims to provide better water supply to 255,000 households and improve sanitation and water supply facilities at 2,720 schools and clinics in 21 provinces in Vietnam’s Northern Mountains and Central Highlands regions.
Vietnam External Debt Mounts to $65.5 Billion in 2013, 40.2% of GDP
Vietnam’s external debt swelled 10.7% year-on-year to $65.46 billion at the end of 2013, equivalent to 40.2% of gross domestic product, according to an ADB report.
The amounts comprised $54.4 billion in long-term debt, $10.57 billion in short-term debt and $485 million in IMF credit, the Asian Development Bank said in a report released last month.
U.S. Provides $121 Million in Economic Aid for Vietnam in 2014
The United State provided Vietnam with $121 million in foreign economic support in 2014, including $10 million in military aid, according to data of the U.S. Department of State.
Vietnam Gold Demand Slides 5% y/y to 15 Tons in Q3: World Gold Council
Gold demand in Vietnam was 15 tons in the third quarter of this year, declining 5.0% from the same quarter of 2014 and 20.6% from Q1/2015.
The country’s total bar and coin demand dropped 13% year-on-year but increased 6.5% quarter-on-quarter to 11.5 tons in Q3/2015, according to a report of the World Gold Council (WGC).
Hanoi to Sell 2 Trillion Dong in Bonds Next Week
Hanoi will launch two trillion dong ($89 million) worth of five-year municipal bonds for sale on November 19 to raise fund for development projects.