Vietnam Trade Surplus Widens to $1.76 Billion in 4 Months
Vietnam posted a trade surplus of $277.3 million in April, bringing the total trade surplus to $1.76 billion in the first four months of this year, compared to a trade gap of $2.18 billion in the same period of 2015, according to data of the General Department of Vietnam Customs.
In the four-month period, the country’s exports increased 6.5% year-on-year to $53.1 billion while its exports slid 1.3% to $61.34 billion.
Foreign-invested firms recorded a $6.67 billion surplus between January and April.
South Korea to Receive 3,500 Vietnamese Workers
South Korea will receive 3,500 Vietnamese laborers following the Employment Permit System this year, after the labor ministries of the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding, according to Vietnam News Agency (VNA).
The initiative is resuming after three years of South Korean limits on Vietnamese laborers, due to the high rate of runaway Vietnamese workers in the country. The number of Vietnamese workers allowed into South Korea was reduced from 18,000 in late 2013 to 15,000 in late 2015.
Freedom Foods Enters Vietnam UHT Market
Cereal and snacks maker Freedom Foods is expanding its international operations with a move into the Vietnamese UHT milk market, according to AAP.
The Sydney-based company says its Pactum Dairy Group business is partnering with International Dairy Products to launch a range of Australian products. “The product range will retail at a small premium to domestic UHT fresh products,” Freedom Foods Managing Director Rory Macleod said in a statement.
Russia Firm to Invest $50 Million in Vietnam Water Treatment
Russian company Morton is planning to upgrade the water treatment system in Vietnam at a cost of $50 million, according to Sputniknews.
Under an agreement signed with a Vietnamese firm, 19 water treatment plants in Vietnam will be upgraded.
VinaCapital Exits from 30Ha Project in HCM City
VinaCapital Vietnam Opportunity Fund (VOF) and VinaLand Limited (VNL), managed by VinaCapital Group, have sold out their stake in Century 21 Joint Stock Company, the operator of a 30-hectare residential project in Ho Chi Minh City
The divestment is part of VNL’s strategy to reduce its real estate weight and increase investment in private equity and OTC firms such as Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) and Thai Hoa Hospital.
Vietnam Premier Calls for Effective Use of World Bank Loans
Relevant agencies must get well prepared for receiving the remainder of the World Bank's International Development Association (IDA-17) fund allocated for Vietnam in the 2014-2017 period, VNA cited Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc
The prime minister also urged all bodies to devise measures to ensure the effective use of official development assistance (ODA) and other preferential loans.
HCM City’s First Startup Investment Fund Announced
The Vietnam Youth Federation in Ho Chi Minh City on May 17 announced the establishment of the HCM City Startup Investment Fund (HSIF) with capital of 30 billion dong ($1.34 million) in the initial stage.
The fund will have its capital revised up to 100 billion dong ($4.48 million) by 2020, VNA reported.
Vietnam to Raise Wholesale Electricity Prices by 2%-5%
Electricity of Vietnam (EVN)’s wholesale prices of electricity sold to its power corporations in 2016 would be increased by 2% to 5% percent over last year, according to a recently-issue regulation of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
German Businesses Seek Opportunities in HCM City
A delegation of more than 70 German enterprises operating in the automobile industry, manufacturing technology, communications, finance and insurance met with Ho Chi Minh City authorities Monday to seek investment opportunities in the southern hub.
At the meeting, Chairman of the German Business Association Jens Ruebbert said that Vietnam is among leading destinations for foreign investors, including German enterprises. With advanced expertise and experience, German businesses hoped to seize investment opportunities in Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh City-based Mekong Capital, a Vietnam-focused private equity (PE) fund, has announced the final closing of subscriptions for its fourth fund, Mekong Enterprise Fund III (MEF III), at $112 million, lower than the firm’s initial target of raising $150 million.
Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc expects Russian oil and gas companies to expand operations in the Southeast Asian country as the energy sector is a key pillar in the Vietnam-Russia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
The Vietnamese government always supports sustainable and long-term cooperation in the oil and gas industry between businesses of the two countries, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc said during a four-day visit to Russia, his first overseas trip after taking office in early April.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC), the Vietnamese government’s investment arm, will establish a $250-million fund to boost bilateral trade and investment, with each putting $250 million in the platform, according to media reports.
The memorandum of understanding between the two parties was signed during Vietnamese Prime Minister’s visit to Russia.
Outstanding consumer loans in Vietnam hit $15.12 billion at the end of 2015, increasing 44% from a year earlier, marking the sharpest growth over the past five years, according to a report by financial information provider StoxPlus.
As of the end of 2015, outstanding consumer loans in the country were equivalent to 10.4% of gross domestic product (GDP), higher than 8.2% in 2014. The loans accounted for 6.8% of total credit, compared with a ratio of 5.6% a year earlier.
Tram Nguyen, research manager at Jones Lang LaSalle Vietnam, offered a brief analysis of the Vietnamese real estate market and overseas investors’ interest.