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Friday, July 13, 2018

KTFA: VIETNAM NEWS, 13 JULY

KTFA: Vietnam

Samson:  Vietnam's State Treasury raises over VNĐ3.5 trillion via G-bonds

 12th July, 2018

The State Treasury of Việt Nam mobilised VNĐ3.51 trillion (US$152 million) through Government bond auctions at the Hà Nội Stock Exchange (HNX) on Wednesday.

Some VNĐ6 trillion worth of G-bonds were offered, including five-year and seven-year bonds valued at VNĐ500 billion each, 10-year and 15-year bonds at VNĐ2 trillion each and 20-year and 30-year bonds at VNĐ500 billion each.

Of the six terms, the State Treasury raised VNĐ500 billion worth of five-year bonds with average yield rate of 3.45 per cent per year, the same rate offered in the previous auction held on July 4.

Bonds with a 10-year term raised VNĐ1.4 trillion at an annual interest of 4.43 per cent, up 0.03 percentage point from the previous auction, while 15-year bonds attracted VNĐ860 billion with an annual interest of 4.73 per cent, marking a 0.03 percentage point increase.

The seven-year, 20-year and 30-year bonds did not see a winning volume.

From the beginning of this year to date, the State Treasury has mobilised more than VNĐ80.9 trillion through Government bonds issued on the HNX.   LINK

Samson:  US firms appreciate Việt Nam’s investment environment

 12th July, 2018

A corner of HCM City’s hi-tech agriculture area

Việt Nam’s business environment has improved significantly, especially its competitiveness, said representatives of US businesses in the US-ASEAN Business Council (USABC).

During a meeting with Minister and Chairman of the Office of the Government Mai Tiến Dũng in Hà Nội on July 11, the USABC delegation showed their thirst to invest or expand investment in Việt Nam in animal feed production and distribution, food processing, production of veterinary medicine and plant protection products.

The American enterprises also affirmed their pledge to abide by the laws of Việt Nam, and fully implement social responsibility and community activities.

Minister Dũng said the Vietnamese Government is calling for foreign investment in hi-tech agriculture and encouraging international enterprises to enhance links with local firms and people in developing the closed value chains.

While appreciating American investors’ investment in various fields in Việt Nam, including the agricultural sector, Dũng added that foreign direct investment (FDI) in agriculture plays an important role in boosting the production of agricultural commodities and increasing competitiveness for Vietnamese farm produce.

Việt Nam is actively improving its business environment, fine-tuning its institutions and promoting administrative reform as well as enhancing its competitiveness to continue to be an attractive investment destination for both local and foreign business communities, including those from the US, he stressed.

Recently, the Vietnamese Government has issued a number of mechanisms and policies to remove obstacles, aiming to lure more domestic and foreign investment in agriculture and rural areas, including amending the Law on Technology Transfer (2017), and issuing Decree 57/2018/NĐ-CP on mechanisms and policies to attract investment in agricultural and rural development, Dũng said.  LINK

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Samson: Sharing economy and opportunities in Việt Nam

 13th July, 2018

Việt Nam is positioned to take advantage of the growing opportunities presented by the sharing economy, said Rebecca Bryant, Australian Embassy Charge D’Affaire at the conference on the sharing economy held in Hà Nội on Thursday.

“With a well-educated and young population and almost 70 per cent of people owning a smart-phone, Việt Nam’s economy stands to benefit significantly from these developing technologies,” Bryant said.

She said that one of the greatest changes of recent years had been the development of the sharing economy. The sharing economy is estimated to grow from US$14 billion in 2014 to $335 billion by 2025, increasing by 22 times within 10 years.  “So while the sharing economy is still in its infancy at the moment, it will inevitably become a major part of the economy – both at a national and global level,” she noted.

Nguyễn Thị Tuệ Anh, deputy director of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) agreed, saying the nature of the sharing economy is a new business model which takes advantage of digital technologies, thus reducing transaction costs and accessing a big number of customers through digital foundation.

The sharing economy is different from the traditional model as all transactions have been implemented online by a third party. It provides more choices to customers with cheaper prices. Individuals joining in the sharing economy could be part-time to provide them more jobs and increasing income.

The sharing economy has developed in sectors of transport service (Uber, Grab, Lyft and Zipcar), tourism and hotel service (Airbnb, VRBO), labour (Homejoy and Handy, TaskRabbit, Upwork) and financial services (Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Lending Club). “The sharing economy will become a consumption trend in the future. It is forecast to expand to different sectors in the upcoming time,” Anh said, adding that people in developing countries were expected to join in resource sharing with others more than in developed ones.

She said sharing economy could create new business methods, opening new business opportunities based on digital foundation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. “With the sharing economy, the market would become more competitive with diversified services, thus bringing benefits to consumers. In addition, it would also bring more investment opportunities, creating jobs and increasing incomes,” she added.

The sharing economy could also help save natural resources, make use of abundant assets and protect to environment. It could also foster the development of a renovation and start-up ecosystem. “The sharing economy could be an opportunity for Việt Nam’s administrative reform toward e-government to effectively participate in the digital economy and Industry 4.0,” she noted.

However, the sharing economy could also have potential challenges, making new relationships arise and causing benefit conflicts with traditional business models. “These challenges could be named as unequal competition, economic concentration and lack of tools to protect consumers online. State management agencies could struggle to control the new models, especially financial duties,” she said.

The deputy director suggested the Government continue to improve the business environment to adapt with the rapid development of the digital economy while ensuring equality between the new model and traditional one. Suitable policies should be studied to encourage the model development. “The building of an e-government and information and technology foundation should be accelerated, especially building an open data system to serve for State management on the sharing economy model,” she said.

Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Vũ Đại Thắng said Việt Nam has not been an exception in the development of business model. “Both benefits and risks for the economy and consumers have been seen. It was the reason for the building of new policies and amending the current regulations have been vital to fully tap into opportunities brought by the sharing economy while minimising positive impacts,” Thắng said.

He added that Việt Nam has been studying international experiences on the impacts of big trends of digital technologies to the economy. This could help the Government have necessary information to provide a suitable strategy in the wave of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.   LINK

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Samson:   Vietnam : Central bank made $9 billion net injection in H1

 13th July, 2018

Commercial banks’ liquidity was good in the first half of this year thanks to the State Bank of Việt Nam’s (SBV) net injection of nearly VNĐ210 trillion (US$9.17 billion), the latest report from the National Financial Supervisory Commission showed.

The injection was used to buy foreign currency to build up the country’s foreign reserves, according to the report released on Thursday.

During the Government’s regular cabinet meeting recently, SBV Governor Lê Minh Hưng also reported that the central bank bought some $11 billion in the first half of this year, raising the nation’s total foreign reserves to roughly $63.5 billion.

Besides the net injection, the liquidity of commercial banks in H1 was also supported by a rising amount of deposits and a slowdown of credit. The commission’s report showed that the capital mobilisation in H1 rose by 8 per cent year-on-year while the credit growth during the period was estimated at only 6.5-6.9 per cent.

Thanks to the good liquidity at commercial banks, interest rates in the inter-bank market remained at a low level in the first six months. By June 25, rates for overnight and one-week loans stood at 1 per cent while it was 1.6 per cent for one-month loans, down 0.7-0.8 percentage points against the end of May and 1.6-2 percentage points against the same period last year.

Despite the good liquidity, commercial banks still kept interest rates for deposits relatively stable at some 4.2 per cent per year for short-term deposits and 7.5 per cent for long-term deposits.

The banks listed interest rates for đồng loans at 7-11 per cent per year depending on the duration of the loans. The rate for dollar loans was at 2.4-7 per cent per year. During the period, some banks also cut the lending rate by 0.5 percentage points for some priority sectors such as agriculture businesses, firms producing goods for export, small- and medium-sized enterprises, enterprises operating in auxiliary industries and hi-tech enterprises including startups.

As for the foreign exchange market, the commission’s latest report showed that as of June 28, the central bank’s daily reference exchange rate was adjusted up to VNĐ22,655 per dollar, up 0.27 per cent against the end of May and 1.07 per cent against the beginning of this year.

Commercial banks listed the dollar/đồng exchange rate at VNĐ22,965 per dollar on June 28, up 0.7 per cent against the previous month and 1.1 per cent against the beginning of the year.  In the unofficial market, the rising rates were some 0.96 per cent and 1.63 per cent, respectively.    LINK

Vietnam : Impressive Q2 growth, but risks still abound

 12th July, 2018

Economists discuss the issues raised from quarterly report of Vietnamese macroeconomy

Viet Nam’s economy maintained impressive growth in the second quarter this year, but risks are becoming more apparent, especially threats on the exchange rate and interest rate.

The statement was made by Nguyễn Đức Thành, director of Việt Nam Institute for Economic and Policy Research (VEPR) at a conference held in Hà Nội on Wednesday. “The impact of the US-China trade war has made the value of the Chinese yuan (CNY), fall sharply against the US dollar. Việt Nam cannot refrain from adjusting its exchange rate, thus creating a risk for the enterprises,” Thành told Việt Nam News.

Vietnamese inflation is starting to increase slightly; therefore, the State Bank of Việt Nam (SBV) needs to control inflation to not exceed five per cent.

With many large central banks tightening currency, together with the risk of high inflation in the near term, the SBV may raise interest rates for the đồng to stabilise the exchange rate, Thành added. Such findings from a macroeconomic report released yesterday by VEPR showed that the economy in Q2 saw growth rate of 6.79 per cent year-on-year, the highest in ten years.

According to VEPR’s report, the agriculture, forestry, fishery and service sectors continued to improve sharply. The industry and construction sector also grew at a high rate of 9.07 per cent in the first half of the year. Manufacturing continued to drive the economy, while the mining industry fell back to decline, reflecting the seasonal characteristic of the positive growth in Q1.

Inflation surged in Q2, reaching 4.67 per cent at the end of June, due to rising food and fuel prices. Meanwhile, core inflation remained at 1.37 per cent, reflecting the SBV’s prudent monetary policy. Trade growth slowed in the second quarter of this year; meanwhile trade balance recorded a surplus in the fourth consecutive quarter and reached US$1.4 billion in Q2. Notably, China regained its position as the country with the highest trade deficit among Việt Nam’s trading partners.

One noteworthy point in the VEPR study was that the number of temporarily ceased enterprises was abnormally high, while the number of new jobs declined. Speaking at the report announcement, economist Phạm Chi Lan raised concerns about the decrease in employment rate due to the remarkable rise of shuttered firms. In other countries such as the US, Europe or Japan, the employment rate was always a top priority, however, unemployment in Việt Nam had not received sufficient concern from authorities, Lan said.

VEPR’s statistics also showed that Việt Nam’s budget balance returned to a deficit in Q2, after a temporary surplus in Q1. Recurrent expenditures continued to be higher than 70 per cent of total expenditures, while development investment expenditures had not improved much. In the second quarter, the country’s total retail sales of goods and services increased in value but declined in volume over the same period last year, reflecting a recovery trend in prices in 2018.

The report said that investment growth in the private sector was strongest in all economic sectors. Meanwhile, newly registered foreign direct investment capital in Q2 reached a record level. Japan was the top investor in Việt Nam in the first six months of 2018. The liquidity of the system was abundant due to the higher deposit growth than credit growth, coupled with foreign currency purchases by the SBV. Foreign exchange reserves continued to rise, reaching $63.5 billion at the end of Q2, the same level as the International Monetary Fund’s recommendation.

Another notable point from the report was that the real estate market in Q2 declined in both Hà Nội and HCM City, both in new apartments for sale and transactions.

Economist Phạm Thế Anh attributed the gloomy real estate sector to some factors such as the slow growth of the economy, instabilities in exchange rate, consumer price index and the tension between the US and China. “The potential risk of an increase in interest rates in the near future could also push the real estate market down,” he told Việt Nam News.

VEPR’s report forecast that this year’s GDP growth target might clock in at 6.8 per cent, higher than the 6.5 to 6.7 per cent goal set by the National Assembly, as it forecast economic growth rates for the upcoming quarters to reach 6.65 and 6.55 per cent, respectively. 

 The Việt Nam Annual Economic Report, published by VEPR, is a series of annual reports summarising major economic issues in the previous year, giving an outlook for the coming year and providing policy recommendations. The quarterly report was completed by the VEPR with support from the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.    LINK

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Samson:  IMF Report: Vietnam’s Strong Growth Will Continue

 12th July, 2018

Vietnam’s strong economic momentum is expected to continue in 2018, aided by the reform drive, higher potential output, the global recovery, and commitment to macroeconomic and financial stability, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday.

Concluding the Article IV Consultation with Vietnam, the executive board of IMF said despite a mild tightening in credit growth targets and a neutral fiscal stance, the economy is set to expand 6.6% in 2018, RTTNews reported.

Inflation is forecast to rise to just under the 4% target, led by higher oil prices and gradual increases in administered prices.

However, the board cautioned that financial buffers are still thin, macroeconomic policy frameworks remain inflexible, complicating the management of shocks. The strong economy provides an opportunity for more ambitious reforms, the IMF observed. Further, the board called for monetary policy tightening in order to sustain macroeconomic stability.

On current trends and if reforms continue at their current pace, 6.5% annual growth remains feasible beyond 2018. The current account surplus is expected to decline over the medium term as structural reforms boost investment and real effective appreciation of the dong (currency) resumes its trend, leaving reserves at 2.5–3 months of imports. Despite recent economic strength, economic distortions and capacity constraints remain, and external and domestic risks and longer-term challenges loom on the horizon.

Financial buffers are still thin, macroeconomic policy frameworks remain inflexible to manage possible shocks, and the external position is substantially stronger than warranted by fundamentals.

The strong economy provides an opportunity for more ambitious reforms to level the playing field by tackling remaining distortions and capacity constraints, increasing investment and reducing the external surplus.

Vietnam’s dynamic, highly open economy continues to perform well, IMF said. The solid performance is aided by macroeconomic and financial stability, stepped up economic reforms, and inflows of foreign direct investment which are enabling structural transformation and are raising potential growth.

Meanwhile, the ongoing US-China trade war will greatly impact the structure of the world economy in the future, causing damage but also generating indirect opportunities for countries where the economy relies heavily on agricultural production like Vietnam.

According to head of the Vietnam Cashew Association’s Trade Promotion Division Tran Van Hiep, although it is still quite early to assess the impact of the US-China trade war, it’s possible that Vietnamese cashews may benefit from this war.

 “This will be an opportunity for the Vietnamese cashew industry to promote export of cashew nuts to the Chinese market,” said Hiep.    LINK

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