USD Prices Hit Ceiling in Vietnam ahead of Fed Meeting
Banks in Vietnam on Monday afternoon hiked selling prices of the U.S. dollar to the upper limit of 22,547 dong a USD on speculation that the Fed would raise interest rates after its policy setting meeting this week.
This was the first time the price of the greenback reached the ceiling stipulated by the State Bank of Vietnam, after volatility in the forex market in mid-August.
Vietnam Credit May Expand 18% This Year
Total outstanding loans of banks in Vietnam could grow 18% this year, above the revised target of 15%-17% set by the (SBV), said an SBV official at a seminar held by BizLIVE
Lending in the banking system reached 4,450 trillion dong ($198 billion) as of the end of September, rising 12.12% from December 2014, according to the State Bank of Vietnam.
VN Index Slides as Blue-chips Fall
The benchmark VN Index slipped 0.21% to 562.22 on Monday as investors sold select heavy weights such as Baoviet Holdings (BVH), PVGas (GAS) and Masan (MSN) on concerns about foreign investors would continue their selling streak.
Foreign investors have unloaded a net value of 1,611 trillion dong ($71.6 million) on the Hochiminh Stock Exchange, the country’s main bourse, as they a jittery about the Fed’s upcoming interest rate liftoff.
Japan Firms Eye Agro Investment in Can Tho City
The delegation comprised representatives of 32 Japanese enterprises that operate in the high-tech agriculture field, led by Yazuzumi Horotaka, chief representative of Jetro
in Ho Chi Minh City, had a meeting on Dec. 10 with authorities of Can Tho city to discuss cooperation opportunities.
Mr. Horotaka said many parts of Japan and the Mekong Delta had similar types of soil, and both sides considered agriculture to be a key economic sector. The two sides expressed interest in promoting cooperation in terms of trading agricultural machinery, seedlings and fertilizers.
Vietnam Transport Ministry to Complete Divestments in All Companies
Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport plans to complete withdrawals from all of its corporations by the first quarter of 2016, said Deputy Transport Minister Nguyen Hong Truong at a meeting last week.
The ministry has completed the equitization of 137 enterprises between 2011 and 2015, 67 more than the ministry’s target, Mr. Truong added. The figure includes 16 major corporations, including Vinalines and Airport Corporation of Vietnam (ACV).
Viettel Pilots 4G Service in Southern Province
Military-run Viettel Group started offering free fourth-generation of wireless communication technology (4G service) on a trial basis in southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau on December 12, one month after receiving a license from the Ministry of Information and Communications.
The trial was launched after Viettel installed about 200 base transmission stations covering the entire residential area of some parts of the province.
Singapore Firm Enters JV to Produce Batteries in Vietnam
A joint venture between Singapore’s GP Batteries International Limited and Vietnam’s Hanoi Battery JSC received an investment license on December 11 to build a facility manufacturing batteries in Vietnam with total investment of $6 million.
The facility will be built on an area of 29,379 square meters in the Hoa Mac Industrial Park in the northern province of Ha Nam and is scheduled for completion within three years.
S. Korea Firm Licensed to Build Engine Plant to Serve Samsung
The Saigon Hi-tech Park Management Board has granted a license for a South Korean firm to build a plant that will manufacture electric engines for a Samsung complex.
New-Hanam Co., under Tae-Hwa Group, will build a $74-million plant on an area of three hectares to produce 13 million electric engines a year, which will be provided for a Samsung electronics complex worth $1.4 billion that is under construction.
At a Ministry of Foreign Affairs-held seminar, authorities of eight localities have urged Japanese investors to be faster in making investments in Vietnam, otherwise profitable projects will fall into other hands.
Katsuro Nagai from the Japanese Embassy in Vietnam said that the Southeast Asian nation is a favorable destination of Japanese businesses and the two countries have huge potential for cooperation.
The Vietnamese government has suggested the National Assembly loosen the visa
policy for U.S. citizen to ensure the ‘reciprocity’ principle.
The U.S. government has asked the Vietnamese side to grant one-year validity, multiple-entry visas to American citizens, aligning with the U.S. visa policy for Vietnamese citizens.
The U.S. side has repeatedly raised the issue that Vietnam’s current visa policy has caused difficulties for U.S. citizens who seek to enter Vietnam, particular after Vietnam’s revised Immigration Law became effective on January 1, 2015.
Business conditions are ideal for companies operating in the country now, Huynh The Du, director of the Fulbright Economics Teaching Program, said at a seminar held by BizLIVE at FLC Samson Beach & Golf Resort, Thanh Hoa province, on December 12.
Vietnam’s economic growth has remained high, inflation is low and consumer prices are stable. Moreover, its World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitive Index has reached an all-time high, he said.
Direct investment in Vietnam by U.S. investors is poised to increase sharply in a near future as the country stands out from other regional peers, said the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
The U.S.-brokered Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement and Vietnam’s low labor cost, stable politics, well-controlled inflation, young demographics and consumers’ rising income will drive up U.S. investment in Vietnam, the FIA added.