[Round-up] VinaCapital Buys in ACV, Vietnam Runs $200 Million Trade Gap in January

Tuan Minh

17:37 26/01/2016

BizLIVE - VinaCapital Group bought an unspecific amount of shares of Airports Corporation of Vietnam. The country had a trade gap of $200 million in January.

[Round-up] VinaCapital Buys in ACV, Vietnam Runs $200 Million Trade Gap in January

VinaCapital Group bought an unspecific amount of shares of Airports Corporation of Vietnam.

Vietnam Considers $77 Million Fund for Supporting Industries
The Vietnamese government is considering the approval of a fund worth 1.72 trillion dong (nearly $77 million) to aid supporting industries in the 2016-2020 period, of which 1.48 trillion dong ($66.5 million) will come from the state budget.
The fund comes in the context that just 36% of Vietnamese join the supply chain, compared to 60% in Malaysia and Thailand. Meanwhile, 21% of small- and medium-sized enterprises in Vietnam are involved in the global value chain, compared to 30% in Thailand and 46% in Malaysia.
Vietnam Partners with Russia, Belarus to Set up Auto Plants
Vietnam, has initialed protocols with Russia and Belarus on setting up joint ventures to manufacture and assemble trucks, automobiles having more than 10 seats and of special purposes in Vietnam.
The protocols are expected to be signed at the end of February or the beginning of March this year.
The localization rate of the joint venture with Russian auto makers is aimed to range between 25% and 35% by 2020 while the rate of the joint venture with Belarusian manufacturers is set to reach 45%.
Prices of Real Estate in Vietnam Likely to Rise 5%-10% in 2015: Association
The Vietnam Real Estate Association (VNREA) has forecast property prices in the country to increase 5%-10% this year thanks to continued economic growth.
The country’s realty market is expected to continue recovering like in 2015 under positive effects of recent monetary policies such as dong devaluations and reductions of USD-denominated deposit rates.
Forex Loans in Vietnam Seen to Continue Falling: HSBC
Outstanding loans in foreign currencies in Vietnam are likely to follow the downtrend as a number of local businesses have switched borrowing in the dong instead of in forex, Pham Hong Hai, CEO of HSBC, was quoted by the Saigon Times newspaper as saying.
High volatility of the USD/VND rate has been the main factor behind the decline in forex credit. Import and export companies have deleveraged forex loans to mitigate risks.  
Total outstanding loans in foreign currencies in Ho Chi Minh City at the end of 2015 decreased 16.23% from a year earlier to 137.82 trillion dong ($6.13 billion). The loans accounted for 11.2% of total lending, down from 15.41% in 2014, 15.86% in 2013 and 22.07% in 2012.
VinaCapital Buys Shares of Vietnam’s No. 1 Airport Developer
VinaCapital Vietnam Opportunity (VOF), run by VinaCapital Group – the largest money manager in Vietnam – purchased shares of Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) at the firm’s initial public offering in December 2015.
VOF has not unveiled the quantity of ACV shares it bought.
Vietnam Runs Trade Gap of $200 Million in January
Vietnam is estimated to have posted a trade deficit of $200 million in January, or 1.4% of total exports, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).
Foreign-invested enterprises reported a trade surplus of $1.6 billion while domestic firms posted a trade shortfall of $1.8 billion in the month.
The country’s exports were $13.8 billion in the month, up 0.5% from December 2015 while imports declined 2.1% month-on-month to $14 billion.
Vietnam’s total state budget expenditures are estimated to have exceeded the plan by some 70 trillion dong ($3.11 billion) while the country’s nominal gross domestic product (GDP) may have grown slower than expected, Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research (VEPR) said in a quarterly report.
The country’s state budget deficit, therefore, could have reached 7% of GDP in 2015, the biggest gap since 2000, VEPR said, adding that Vietnam’s fiscal deficit have breached the ceiling of 5% of GDP over the last four years.
Japanese businesses are interested in investing in seaports in Vietnam’s major cities such as Hai Phong, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City, Hayato Murase, chairman of Mizushima Seaport Association, said at a recent meeting with Vietnam Maritime Administration in Hanoi.
The maritime route between Da Nang city and Mizushima Port has become increasingly important and the latter has plans to expand its container ports, Mr. Murase added.
Vietnam sent a record high of 115,000 laborers to work overseas during 2015, raising the total guest workers to over 500,000 currently, according to Minister of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs Pham Thi Hai Chuyen.
Thai Siam Cement Group (SCG) would push ahead with its $4.5-billion Long Son integrated petrochemical complex here although Qatar Petroleum, one of the four key partners in the project, has recently retreated, said Dhep Vongvanich, country executive director.
SCG, which has already invested $700 million in Vietnam since starting up operations in 1992, is talking with three to four potential partners to succeed Qatar Petroleum and expects to finalize the negotiations this quarter, the Nation newswire cited the executive as saying.