Monday, 29 December 2008

Hoang Anh Gia Lai asks police to investigate rumours

Hoang Anh Gia Lai group on Friday asked the State Bank of Viet Nam and the Economic Security Protection Agency under the Ministry of Public Security to take measures to protect the interests of its over 2,000 shareholders from false rumours.
The group’s Chairman Doan Nguyen Duc said those who have deep knowledge of finance can know of the group’s “health” through its reports, but not many people have access to official information so they might be influenced by rumours. “So we have had to ask appropriate authorities to take measures to protect the legal interests of our shareholders,” Duc said.
Duc said in recent days he had received many phone calls from friends and the press asking about the group’s banking loans. It was even rumoured that he had been put under house arrest because his company owed banks hundreds of billion dong. Actually, Duc was abroad in his own aircraft; meanwhile, the price of Hoang Anh-Gia Lai shares hit the ceiling levels in five consecutive trading sessions.
“I’m holding 55% of Hoang Anh Gia Lai’s shares worth around VND6 trillion ($352.94 million). At the current value of my shares in the stock market, I’m the richest man in the stock market of Viet Nam,” he said.
He affirmed that Hoang Anh Gia Lai doesn’t have any overdue debt. Compared to its net assets worth VND17.1 trillion, its medium- and short-term loans of VND2,514 billion are diminutive.
“I think such rumours came from Hoang Anh Gia Lai’s rivals in order to affect the prestige of myself and my group,” Duc said. (VNE)

Vietnam To Privatize BIDV Bank In 2009

State-run Bank for Investment and Development of Viet Nam, or BIDV, will be privatized within 2009, the government said Monday in a statement.
Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung has approved Dec. 31 as the bank's valuation date, the government said.
BIDV currently has registered capital of VND7.49 trillion ($440 million), according to the State Bank of Vietnam's Web site. (Dow Jones)

Vietnam licenses Hong Leong Bank, Shinhan Bank

Viet Nam has allowed South Korea's Shinhan Bank and Malaysia's Hong Leong Bank Berhad to set up fully owned subsidiaries in the country, the central bank said in a statement Monday.

Under the licence, Shinhan Bank, a unit of Shinhan Financial Group, will open Shinhan Vietnam Bank with a capital base of 1.67 trillion dong, or nearly US$100 million.

Hong Leong Bank Bhd will establish Hong Leong Vietnam with a capital base of 1 trillion dong, or nearly US$60 million, the central bank said in a statement.

Shinhan Viet Nam Bank will have registered capital of nearly 100 million dollars while Hong Leong Viet Nam will have registered capital of almost 60 million dollars, the State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) said in an online announcement.

Based in Ho Chi Minh City, the banks will provide services in capital mobilisation, credit, payment and other fund services, SBV said.

Viet Nam has committed to opening up its banking sector after joining the World Trade Organisation in 2007, and has already licensed HSBC, Standard Chartered and ANZ to set up 100-percent-owned local subsidiaries. (AFP)

SCIC to auction 16,218 shares of Hai Duong shoemaker

State Capital Investment Corp (SCIC) will organise a public auction for 16,218 shares out of 54,060 shares at 100,000 dong par of the state capital in Hai Duong Shoes Joint Stock Co with the starting price of 125,000 dong per share.
The firm has a chartered capital of 10.6 billion dong.
The remainder of state owned shares will be sold to Hai Duong shoemaker's employees with the average winning price.
The share auction will be held at Vincom Securities Co, No 191 Ba Trieu St, Hanoi.

EAB to launch SMS Banking for credit card customers

Eastern Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank (DongA Bank - EAB) recently announced that from December 29 it would launch SMS Banking services and internet Banking for credit card. This solution will bring a sense of security to credit account users.
Thanks to these services, credit card owners can check their accounts via mobile phones. At the same time, they can check transactions and funds transfer and other banking services.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Dragon Capital Group Selects World-Check for Enhanced Risk Management

Dragon Capital Group, the most experienced investment house in Viet Nam, today announced that it has chosen World-Check to enhance its Due Diligence and Know Your Customer (KYC) compliance processes. World-Check is the leading provider of risk intelligence for the screening of customers, transactions, employees, prospective clients and service providers in accordance with globally accepted risk management procedures.

The incorporation of World-Check forms part of Dragon Capital's implementation of international best practice in order to meet its compliance obligations with all relevant anti-money laundering laws in their respective legal and operational jurisdictions.

"With World-Check's risk intelligence we are confident that we are effectively mitigating regulatory, financial and reputational risk across all of our operations", said Mike Temple, Director of Finance Administration Operations of Dragon Capital.

"We are delighted that Dragon Capital has chosen our service and look forward to assisting their compliance teams with their ongoing compliance requirements" said Daniel Peak, Chief Executive Officer of World-Check. "Our research teams regularly identify heightened risk individuals and entities up to seven years ahead of major international sanction lists making us the industry leaders in risk mitigation."

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Re-insurer acquisition named ‘Best Vietnam Deal 2008’

Swiss Re’s US$79 million acquisition of a 25-percent stake in the Viet Nam National Reinsurance Corporation (VinaRe) has been named the Best Viet Nam Deal in 2008 by Finance Asia, a Hong Kong-based publication that presents annual achievement awards in the region.

The globally recognised awards commemorate ‘deals’ including equity offerings, mergers and acquisitions or bond issuance on Asian stock markets.

The Swiss Re acquisition was notable for being the first major strategic investment by a global player in Vietnam’s reinsurance sector, the magazine said.

“Swiss Re, a global reinsurer operating in 25 countries, had a business relationship with VinaRe for more than a decade, but that relationship expanded to include Swiss Re offering the Vietnamese company technical assistance in all its businesses, with a focus on further enhancing its reinsurance capabilities,” wrote the magazine.

According to Finance Asia, the deal also helped solidify Credit Suisse’s position as the leading investment bank in Viet Nam.

The magazine also noted the participation of the legal advisors for the deal, which included the local firm, Vision Law, and the foreign law firm Russin & Vecchi.

Recognition as Best Viet Nam Deal 2008 should also help promote the domestic reinsurance market to overseas investors, VinaRe said on its website.

In addition to the Swiss Re-VinaRe deal in Viet Nam, the magazine also recognised Chinalco’s US$14 billion acquisition of Rio Tinto in China, Estisalat’s US$900 million acquisition of Swan Telecom in India, and Petronas’ US$2.5 billion acquisition of the Gladstone LNG project in Malaysia. (VNS)

Friday, 12 December 2008

Late performance disclosures ring exchange warning bell

Late performance disclosures ring exchange warning bell
Late business performance disclosure by listed firms is ringing a warning-bell for market regulators, as it seems to be becoming a phenomenon on the Vietnamese exchanges.
In November, the blue-chip company Pha Lai Thermal Power informed shareholders of zero dividend payments due to profit losses. The impact was deemed serious enough for the HCM City Stock Exchange’s management board to give the company a warning.
Early this month, other listed firms like Construction No.5, or Investment and Construction Development Co made public their altered business results.
Nguyen Thi Hoang Lan, deputy director of Ha Noi Securities Trading Centre, said that it was acceptable for firms to make adjustments in business performance amidst the present market turmoil.
"However, enterprises should make public such information in a timely fashion, to enable investors to make good investment decisions," said Lan.
Nguyen Hoa Binh, Chairman of Vietcombank, confirmed that its disclosure of business adjustment in November was late.
"In the context of market turmoil, however, it is difficult to forecast a company’s future. Actually, I must confess that we deliberated a lot before making public our business performance. I hope there will be sympathy for our late disclosure," he said.
The Bank for Foreign Trade of Viet Nam, known as Vietcombank, has changed the year’s targets for total asset, credit growth and bad debt ratio.
A representative from Construction No 5 Co, who wished to remain anonymous, excused his companies’ late disclosure by saying: "Even at the end of the third quarter, we believed that we could reach the year’s target. But, the fluctuation lasted longer than we expected, along with spending for provision fund. We only recognised the inadequacy of the year’s business result early this quarter."
Nguyen Hong Quan, An Binh Securities’ acting director, said that late disclosure greatly decreases investor confidence.
"Investors are paying more attention to the business results from listed firms, as well as to changes in business performance. The situation will cause serious consequences, if it becomes a trend," said Quan.
The Viet Nam Association of Finance Investors is urging listed firms to make disclosures sooner to protect investors from unexpected loss and to promote transparency. (VNS)

Baseafood to pay 20% dividend in cash for the first phase of 2008

Ba Ria Vung Tau Seafood Import Export Processing Joint Stock Co (Baseafood) announced that it would pay 20% dividend in cash
for the first phase of 2008 between December 25 and 31, 2008.
During the third quarter of 2008, Baseafood reached 179.230 billion dong in net revenue from sales and services and 3.109 billion dong in after-tax profit, bringing the total figure for Jan-November to 432.586 billion dong in revenue, 13.908 billion dong after-tax profit and the EPS of 4,346 dong.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Securities meet links investors, experts

Around 50 foreign and local experts and investors are discussing issues relevant to Viet Nam’s securities market at a two-day conference that began yesterday in HCM City.

Le Dang Doanh, senior economist at the Institute of Development Studies, gave an overview of the country’s current economic situation.

According to him, the first five months in 2008 saw a GDP-growth rate of 7.4 per cent. Export turnover was US$23.4 billion while imports brought in $37.8 billion, creating a trade deficit of $14.4 billion. CPI increased over 19%.

The VN Index declined to less than 400 from around 1,200 in 2007.

The current high interest rate is a heavy burden for the business community, according to Doanh.

Foreign investors believe in the mid and long-term prospects of the economy, but are concerned with the volatility of the economic situation.

Doanh stressed State efforts to re-establish trust for investors.

Viet Nam’s economic growth rate this year is expected tobe between 6.2 to 7.2%.

"Higher disbursement rates of FDI and ODA could contribute to stabilising the international payment balance," he said.

Viet Nam may also push reforms further and accelerate the equitisation of State-owned enterprises.

"The 7.5% economic growth rate in the last 10 years is very impressive and I understand that more recently the stock market has experienced a downturn and the Government has focused on controlling inflation. No doubt this has been painful for investors but it does not appear to lead to withdrawal of foreign investment," said Michael O’Sullivan, President of the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors.

Bui Thu Thuy, Securities Services Deputy Head for HSBC HCM City Branch, singled out market entry as a key issue for foreign investors, and detailed regulations, taxation and the process of starting securites trading in Viet Nam.

Other topics included evaluating trends in the country’s stock exchange, the importance of corporate governance and trasparency in building market confidence.

Today (second working day), human resources, bond markets, alternative investments tools, fund risk and investment techniques for the local securities market will be covered.

The event is co-organised by Singapore-based Informa Finance Asia and local firm Quang Ba I.A.C. (VNS)