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VIETNAM - BUSINESS IN BRIEF 3/11

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Post by lexie Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:16 pm

Last update 03/11/2011 07:00:00 AM (GMT+7)

VIETNAM - BUSINESS IN BRIEF 3/11

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong and the HCM City Commercial Union of Co-operatives (Saigon Co.op) signed an agreement last week that will promote cultivation and consumption of "safe fruits and vegetables."

Lam Dong is the largest vegetable and fruit supplier to HCM City, accounting for 50 per cent of the latter's consumption.

The HCM City Department of Agriculture and Rural Development estimates that the city consumes more than 800,000 tonnes of vegetables and fruits every year. The outlying rural districts in the city supply between 250,000-285,000 tonnes and rest are mainly sourced from Lam Dong (448,000 tonnes), Tien Giang (52,000 tonnes), Long An (16,000 tonnes) and Tay Ninh (4,600 tonnes).

Dong Nai, Ben Tre, Tra Vinh, Bac Lieu, Vinh Long, Dong Thap and Ha Noi are some of the other provinces and cities from where HCM City gets fruit and vegetables.

Le Thanh Liem, director of the HCM City Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said signing of the agreement with Lam Dong will go a long way towards ensuring foodstuff safety and hygiene.

Under the agreement, the Lam Dong Plant Protection Department will keep a close eye on production and processing of fruits and vegetables at farms and processing facilities, and provide advice on how to use pesticides and fertilisers in a safe manner.

It will collect foodstuff samples for testing before they are transported to HCM City and stop local farmers from overusing pesticides on vegetables and fruits.

Apart from Saigon Co.op, three wholesale markets in HCM City have also signed co-operation agreements with six vegetable trading and production companies in Lam Dong.

Nguyen Thi Hanh, general director of Saigon Co.op said such linkages were necessary now because customers' demand for safe vegetables and fruits was increasing strongly.

Ho Phuoc Hai, director of the Binh Dien wholesale market said three wholesale markets in HCM City met 80 per cent of the city's vegetable and fruit demand.

The signing of similar agreements will not only ensure the foodstuff safety and hygiene as well as increase prestige of wholesale markets.

Nguyen Van Tien, head of HCM City Plant Protection Department said initially, the city and Lam Dong will choose three items that are consumed the most – carrot (72,000 tonnes per year), tomato (98,000 tonnes per year) and cabbage (93,000 tonnes per year). These will be inspected from cultivation to transportation for consumption.

Financial advisory committee formed

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has set up a national advisory committee on financial and monetary policy that will include high-ranking Government officials and prominent economists.

Meeting once per quarter, it will consult with the Prime Minister on economic policy directions and will also evaluate the effectiveness of existing financial and monetary policies.

The committee will be headed by Deputy Prime Minister VuVan Ninh. State Bank of Viet Nam Governor Nguyen Van Binh will serve as permanent vice chairman and Vu Viet Ngoan, chairman of the National Financial Supervision Committee, will serve as vice chairman. The committee's 22 other members will include ministers, deputy ministers and heads of related Government agencies.

New plans set for aquaculture

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development plans to review investment projects to draw up a plan to develop the fresh-water aquaculture sector through 2012.

It has asked the Directorate of Fisheries to work with the ministry's Department of Planning to conduct the review and disburse capital to build facilities for egg cultivation and main aquatic species production.

In southern provinces, they will focus on creating regulations on how to choose tra fish eggs from the tra fish provided by the Research Institute for Aquaculture No 2.

This is being done in order to reach a target of nearly 80 per cent of or high-quality tra fish by 2015.

Cultivating tra fish under Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practices (VietGap) standards will also be carried out in the provinces of Ben Tre, Dong Thap, and An Giang.

The ministry said the institute should continue to conduct research on new technology for seed production and cultivation of other freshwater fish, including sturgeon and giant barbs.

The south-central and Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) provinces should focus on planning cultivation and egg production areas for freshwater fish.

They should also make plans to preserve and develop their native fish species.

The Directorate of Fisheries has been asked to guide the construction of freshwater aquaculture production facilities in these provinces to carry out tra and tilapia fishes cultivation under VietGap standards for export.

According to the ministry, the provinces have not taken advantage of water from 22 reservoirs to use for irrigation and hydroelectric plants to develop freshwater aquaculture.

They have also yet to define which fish will be cultivated and make specific plans for export.

In the first nine months of this year, the area for freshwater aquaculture in the south-central and Central Highlands provinces was 36,000ha, accounting for 75 per cent of total aquaculture cultivation areas.

The output was 18,459 tonnes, accounting for 35 per cent of total aquaculture output.

The total area of freshwater aquaculture in the southern provinces was nearly 98,600ha with the output of 882,500 tonnes, accounting for 74 per cent the region's total output of aquaculture cultivation.

Overseas remittance to Vietnam to hit US$8.5 billion

The volume of overseas remittance to Vietnam is forecast to hit US$8.5 billion this year, a record high compared to last year’s US$8 billion, according to the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV).

The SBV said that overseas remittance reached around US$2.5 billion in the first quarter of the year, US$2 billion in the second quarter and US$2.5 billion in the third quarter.

Currently, more than 400,000 Vietnamese guest workers are working abroad and around 4 million Vietnamese people are residing in nearly 100 nations and territories around the world. These people annually send a huge volume of overseas remittance back home, said the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences.

The volume of overseas remittance to Vietnam made up only 4.2 percent of total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 1999, 7.8 percent in 2002 and 7.7 percent in 2010.

The World Bank (WB) placed Vietnam 16th among nations around the globe to have received the largest amounts of overseas remittance in 2010. In South East Asia, Vietnam ranked second followed by the Philippines (US$21.3 billion in 2010).

Exports to Middle East to reach US$2.4 billion

Vietnam’s exports to the Middle East are likely to reach approximately US$2.4 billon by the end of the year, up 69 percent over last year.

The estimated figures were announced by the African - Western Asia – Southern Asia Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

They may reach US$5 billion in 2015, the department said. Ly Quoc Hung, head of the department attributed the export growth to Vietnamese firms’ efforts to promote product advertising at trade fairs and participate in business conferences, ain updated market information, determine customer demand and seek new trade partners from the Middle Eastern market.

He suggested the firms deepen their understanding of business customs in the Middle East. The department plans to organise online business meetings for Vietnamese firms in six Middle East countries early next year, he said.

Vietnam-Brazil trade turnover exceeds US$1 billion

The trade turnover between Vietnam and Brazil was estimated at US$1.06 billion in the first nine months of this year, up 61.2 percent over the same period last year.

According to the recent statistics released by the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, Vietnam’s exports to Brazil reached US$485 million, while its imports from the South American country stayed at US$574 million.

The two-way trade turnover is expected to rise to US$1.5 billion by the end of 2011 and to US$4 billion in the next five years.

Among Vietnamese exports footwear make up 30 percent, computers and electronics (13 percent), seafood (12 percent), garment and textiles (8 percent), machines and transport vehicles (5 percent), and rubber (5 percent). Vietnamese imports include animal feeds, tobacco materials, steel, and timber products.

With a total population of more than 200 million, Brazil is the world’s eighth largest economy in terms of GDP, and promising export market for Vietnam. The two countries have promoted the exchange of business delegations to conduct market surveys and seek investment partners.

Vietnamese products showcased at Cambodian fair

A trade fair opened in Cambodia’s Phnom Penh capital on November 1, attracting more than 150 Vietnamese businesses to showcase their products on nearly 300 stands.

On display at the Vietnam Trade Fair ’11 are farm products, technologies, electronic and electrical equipment, garments, building materials, pharmaceuticals and fine art and handicraft articles.

The organisation of such trade fairs has contributed to increasing trade and investment between the two countries, said Keo Soknay, Secretary of State of the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce, at the opening ceremony.

According to the Secretary of State, two-way trade value between Cambodia and Vietnam reached nearly US$1.83 billion in 2010, a year on year rise of 35 percent. The trade figure rose to US$2.07 billion in the period between January-September, 2011.

Cambodia considers Vietnam a strong trade partner and its presence in Cambodia will help boost trade and investment ties, as well as economic cooperation projects between the two countries, he said.

The fair will last through November 5.

SAP affirms further investment in Vietnamese IT market

SAP Asia Vietnam has announced it will establish a new office in HCM City and a SAP Research Centre Vietnam.

Director General of SAP Asia Vietnam, Srinivas Adimulam, emphasized that Vietnam is one of the most dynamic markets in South East Asia. The opening of the new office will boost SAP’s development strategies in the country, affirming its long-term commitments to investing in the Vietnamese information technology (IT) market to fully tap its potential.

SAP also unveiled a plan to establish a SAP Research Centre in Vietnam - the 15th of its kind in the world and the first in South East Asia.

The centre will promote diversity, and provide software and service solutions for the IT sector. All 40 members of staff at the centre are highly qualified Vietnamese experts, indicating that SAP trusts Vietnamese IT talent as well as the potential for research and development in the country’s dynamic market.

SAP Asia said that the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University and Vietnam-Germany University will be the first to be involved in the SAP’s University Alliance Programme (UAP) cooperative training programme. This is a global initiative to develop innovative teaching curricula using the most advanced technologies.

MPI seeks quick development of statistics capacity

The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) has announced a strategy to develop Vietnam’s statistical sector quickly and sustainably from 2011-2020, with a vision for 2030.

Addressing a conference in Hanoi on November 1, MPI Deputy Minister Cao Viet Sinh stressed that this is the sector’s first strategy that has been devised carefully, systematically and strictly based on research into international documents and experiences, as well as an analysis of Vietnam’s current system for compiling statistics.

The new strategy aims to create a national centralized statistical information system which is consistent and unified with frequent close coordination and sharing between domestic statistical agencies and organizations.

The system will also provide and share information with international organizations as stipulated by the law.

In addition, macro statistical databases will be built under this strategy.

The Government has introduced nine action programs to materialize this strategy, including completing appropriate legal corridors, applying advanced statistical methodology and technology, stepping up forecasts, developing human resources, and improving international cooperation.

The World Bank predicts that Vietnam’s statistical capacity, which stood at 61 points in 2010, will increase to 70 points by 2015, 80 in 2020 and 95 by 2030.

HCM City to host international real estate seminar

The 3rd Annual Real Estate Seminar will be held in Ho Chi Minh City on November 23 under the theme “Credit Crunch: Where does the Vietnam Real Estate Market go from here?”

More than 200 domestic and international investors, bankers and housing developers are expected to take part in the Real Estate Market Intel Vietnam 2011, which is co-organized by the DFDL Mekong Company, CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) Vietnam and Standard Chartered Bank.

The seminar will look at an overview of the local real estate market, and point out key risks in real estate lending in Vietnam. It will discuss how to attract investment from foreign investors, including those from the US.

Participants will also have the chance to listen to presentations by leading experts in the field including Marc Townsend, Managing Director of CBRE Vietnam.

Vietnam joins international trade fair in Cuba

A wide range of Vietnamese products are now on display at the 29th International Trade Fair of Havana (FIHAV 2011), which opened in Havana, Cuba, on October 31.

Fifteen Vietnamese businesses are joining more than 1,500 enterprises from 57 countries and territories around the world to showcase food, garments and textiles, electronics, construction materials, household utensils and handicraft products.

According to the Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment (MINCEX), Rodrigo Malmierca, FIHAV 2011 has attracted the largest number of participants ever. The event aims to help foreign businesses study the Cuban market and seek investment opportunities on the Caribbean island.

He said, despite numerous difficulties, Cuba’s trade with foreign countries saw an increase of 27 percent in the third quarter of this year.

Minister Malmierca affirmed that the Cuban government’s incentives for foreign investors are an important part of boosting the country’s future socio-economic development.

This year’s fair, which will last until November 5, features more than 350 Cuban companies operating mostly in the fields of health care, food processing, electronics, civil engineering, construction and services.

New aquaculture development plan in the pipeline

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) will review investment projects to draw up a freshwater aquaculture development plan through 2012.

MARD has asked the Directorate of Fisheries to conduct the review and disburse capital to build facilities for egg cultivation and main aquatic species production.

In southern provinces, they will focus on creating regulations on how to choose Tra fish eggs from the Tra fish provided by the Research Institute for Aquaculture No 2.

Cultivating tra fish under Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practices (VietGap) standards will be carried out in the provinces of Ben Tre, Dong Thap, and An Giang.

The south-central and Central Highland provinces should focus on planning cultivation and egg production areas for freshwater fish, MARD said.

The ministry asked these provinces to preserve and develop their native fish species.

The total area of freshwater aquaculture in the southern provinces is nearly 98,600ha with the output of 882,500 tonnes, accounting for 74 percent the region's total output of aquaculture cultivation.

Seminar to assist Vietnamese community in Russia

Hundreds of Vietnamese businesses, Vietnam-Russia enterprises, and Vietnamese traders in Russia have attended a seminar on assisting the Vietnamese community in Russia and boosting exports to the country.

Addressing the October 31 seminar, Vietnamese ambassador to Russia Pham Xuan Son spoke highly of the initiative to hold the seminar, saying it is a good way to support Vietnamese expatriates in Russia and promote Vietnam’s trade in Russia.

He highlighted the advantages of the Russian market in the context of its age-old friendship and strategic partnership with Vietnam.

Two-way trade already reached US$2 billion in 2010 and is expected to rise to US$3 billion in 2013 and US$10 billion in 2020, the ambassador said. He expressed hope that Vietnamese entrepreneurs in Russia will contribute more to developing the Vietnamese community in the country.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Thanh Son reaffirmed the State and Party’s policy of supporting the Vietnamese community abroad. He praised the building of the “Hanoi – Moscow” Culture, Trading (multi-function) and Hotel Centre”, saying the model needs to be expanded in other localities in Russia.

Nguyen Canh Son, Chairman of the Incentra Joint Stock Company, underlined the potential of the Russian market, including its big population (140 million), high GDP (US$1,500 billion) and annual per capita income (US$12,000), and growing demand for consumer goods.

The seminar was jointly held in Moscow by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the State Commission on Overseas Vietnamese under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Trade Promotion Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam, and the Incentra Joint Stock Company.

Encouraging businesses to fulfill social responsibility

Businesses, including foreign ones, should take part in social activities to help reduce poverty in Vietnam.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh made the statement at a reception for Tidjane Thiam, Chief Executive and Director-General of Prudential Group in Hanoi on October 31.

Mr Ninh highlighted the group’s important contributions to Vietnam’s socio-economic development, particularly its efforts to reduce poverty.

Thiam said the fulfillment of social responsibility is one of Prudential’s criteria and the group has decided to allocate US$2 million for social activities each year aside from its long-term investment in Vietnam.

Mining projects destroy northern provinces

Despite the Prime Minister’s order that all localities nationwide must stop licensing new mining projects since August 30, the destruction and contamination to the environment of the northern provinces of Cao Bang and Bac Kan by extractive industry has continued unabated.

The Ma Non village of Ngan Son District in Bac Kan Province used to hum with the sounds of excavators and machinery operated by groups of gold prospectors who were mining gold and indiscriminately destroying the land in the process.

Dinh Quang Hieu, secretary of the district party committee, said the illegal gold miners had ravaged most of the communes in his district.

“They just packed up their stuff and switched to another spot if the local authorities in one site cracked down on them,” he said.

“More than 20 hectares of farmland of the locals have been destroyed this way by the illegal miners.”

For mining projects that had been licensed, the mining companies often refused to restore the land to its original conditions for farming after their licenses expired, the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment said.

Figures from the department show that 60 extractive projects were licensed to operate in the province, 5 of which were granted by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and the remaining by the provincial people’s committee.

The gold mine Tan An in Lang San Commune, for instance, was licensed to operate from 2003 to 2008 on a total area of 15.9 hectares.

In May 2008, the provincial people’s committee ordered the mine be closed by March 2009 and the mining area returned to the authorities.

But until October 31, the area still remained to be cleaned up as required, though the investor had three times asked and been granted permission to delay its cleaning responsibility.

Nong Danh Hien, deputy chairman of Na Ri People’s Committee, said the area surrounding Toc Lu gold mine in Kim Hy commune used to be a verdant valley full of corn fields.

But it has now become a dead valley with a myriad of holes and craters filled with water, he said.

This, he said, was the work of Tan Thanh Company, the company that was allowed to extract the mine and had its license expire by 2008.

The company was supposed, under the terms of license, to restore and replenish the land by early 2009 but they did not do so even until now, he said, adding that the company had “disappeared.”

In Cao Bang, although the local authorities have stopped licensing and renewing mining projects, severe, long-term damage has already been done to the environment by more than 40 licensed ones.

The color of the Hien River in Thach An District has turned irremediably red by the waste water and mud dumped by the companies extracting the Phien Day gold mine, deputy chairman of the commune people’s committee, said.

Local authorities said although the Bao Phat Co. Ltd had been licensed to extract Phien Day mine until 2012, the company was suspended in April 2010 for polluting the environment.

“More than a year and a half after the mining has been suspended, the consequences it afflicted on the environment are still felt and have yet to be solved,” Le Van Chinh, chairman of the district people’s committee, said.

HCMC court dismisses lawsuit on gold trading conflict

HCMC People's Court has issued a statement dismissing a lawsuit filed by a local gold trader against Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) for losses he suffered on the bank’s gold trading floor.

After investigating the request and evidence submitted by Tran Trong Nghia from Phu Nhuan District, the court said his three main requests in the lawsuit were either baseless or past the expiry date for filing a lawsuit according to the provisions of the Civilian Code.

In 2007 Nghia signed up to participate on the ACB gold trading floor.

On December 24, 2007, he placed an order to sell 3,000 taels of gold at the price of VND 15.69 million a tael and then was notified that 150 taels had been matched to the order by the gold floor’s employees.

As the gold price went down, he ordered to cancel the selling of the remaining 2,850 taels that had not been matched, and then reset the switch to sell the remaining amount at a lower price, at VND15.66 million a tael.

However, by late afternoon, the bank notified him that due to some confusion in carrying out his morning’s first selling order, the bank had matched the selling of 2,850 taels to his first order, not 150 taels. With only 150 taels left in his account, when he sold 2,850 taels in his second order, his account was negative by 2,700 taels.

ACB then admitted the mistake, and agreed to compensate him by selling to him 2,700 taels of gold at the price of VND15.66 million a tael, or VND30.6 billion, but has yet made the sale.

Then on the grounds that he did not renew the contract although having been informed in March 2008, the bank ACB unilaterally ended the contract and sold 3,000 taels gold in Nghia’s account at VND17.825 million a tael for debt recovery. This move, Nghia said, caused him a loss of VND27.5 billion.

On the date he filed the lawsuit, December 17, 2010, he said his losses were around VND58.1 billion based on gold prices at the time. But on October 5, 2011, Nghia said ACB caused him a loss of 8,450 taels of gold, which is equivalent to about VND400 billion, after the two aforementioned moves without citing the contribution factors.

He asked the court to declare all transactions invalid and order the bank to pay him about VND250 billion more in addition to VND146 billion in compensation he had received from ACB.

But the trial panel noted that Nghia’s losses were just VND85 million on the date 2,700 taels gold was mistakenly sold without citing the formula for calculation.

However, as Nghia asked the court to declare the transaction dating back to December 24, 2007 to be invalid on October 5, 2011, the statute has expired by over two years in accordance with the provisions of the Civilian Code and it would not be considered.

Similarly, his second request that ACB must compensate him 2,750 taels for 3 later transactions, on March 27, and 28, 2008 and April 1, 2008, was also dismissed due to the same reason.

His third request that the court order ACB to compensate him for 3,000 taels of gold it has sold from his account, the court said that since his debt ratio had exceeded the limit, ACB’s move was completely legal.

That court also said he had to pay more than VND358 million in legal costs.

Nghia said he would appeal to the appellate level.

Formosa seeks chance to join VN’s 4th oil refinery project

Taiwanese Formosa Group has recently held a meeting with PetroVietnam and state authorities to seek the joint investment opportunity in Vietnam’s 4th oil refinery project in southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province.

The development of Long Son Oil Refinery, which has an annual designed capacity of 10 million tons of crude oil, has been estimated to need some $8 billion worth of investment capital, according to Dau Tu newspaper.

PetroVietnam has also worked out plan for inviting other foreign investors to participate in developing this project with holdings ratio at 71 percent.

Formosa Group has been considered the largest foreign investor in Vietnam.

It has joined the projects of Steel Complex and Son Duong Deep-Water Port with total investment capital of $8.9 billion for the first phase.

Petrolimex, Vietnam's top oil products importer and distributor, has held a talk with South Korea's Daelim Industrial Co Ltd over a venture to build Vietnam's third oil refinery, which could make Daelim the first foreign investor in the project worth up to $4.8 billion, Reuters reported.

Petrolimex would keep a 60 percent stake in the 200,800-barrel-per-day (bpd) Nam Van Phong facility in central Khanh Hoa Province. But it will miss the original target of starting construction by 2014-2015, and has not fixed a new timeframe.

Construction of the $7.5 billion Nghi Son oil refinery, Vietnam's second such facility, is likely to be delayed until the first quarter of 2012 instead of the last quarter this year, Dominique Peiffert, General Director of French oil services group Technip SA in Vietnam, told Reuters.

The 200,800 bpd plant will process sour Kuwaiti crude oil, he added.

Fishermen lose out due to poor preservation at sea

With little knowledge about preserving their catch at sea, fishermen in the central and southern regions of Vietnam constantly see their products deteriorate and lose out on profits.

Tu Bon, an ocean tuna trader at Hon Ro fishing port in Khanh Hoa Province, said if tuna are not well-preserved, their prices could fall by as much as 80 percent.

“Those that are well-preserved and good enough for exports fetch VND140,000 a kilogram, while those are not can only be sold for VND28,000 and only in the domestic market,” he said.

Sai Gon Tiep Thi newspaper said around 20,000 tons of tuna are caught annually in the south-central provinces but only a small proportion of this qualifies for exports due to fishermen’s poor storage methods.

In Khanh Hoa, where 10,000 tons are caught, only 2,500 tons can be exported since fishermen mostly use ice for preservation and not deep freeze.

Phan Xuan Quang of Nha Trang University’s Institute of Fishery Science and Technology said fishermen were unable to stay out at sea for more than 25 days because the fish lose their quality after that.

“If preservation methods are improved, fishermen can stay longer,” he said.

Vo Khac En, head of the province’s Exploitation and Protection of Fisheries Resources Agency, said fishermen often returned to shore after catching two tons of tuna though even if they could catch more.

“If they stay longer, the tuna will lose quality and they will incur losses,” he said.

Not a single fishing boat out of the 800 in Khanh Hoa had a refrigeration system.

“Most fishermen cannot afford the VND300-million sum required to buy the system.”

Vo Thien Lang, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Fisheries Association, said the problem could be solved by organizing a fleet of boats to transport the catch ashore.

“But this will become infeasible when the seas get rough since the boats can hardly go near the fishing ones.

“So the government should provide financial assistance for fishermen to buy modern preservation equipment.”

Quang said Nha Trang University was training fishermen in Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, and Khanh Hoa Provinces in seafood preservation methods.

“This is a key requirement while we wait for action from the government,” he said.

A Ponzi scheme in Ba Ria-Vung Tau?

Many people in the southern province of Ba Ria – Vung Tau have been sucked into an online scheme by a Binh Duong-based company that looks like a classic Ponzi scam.

Your correspondent got in touch with some of them and was asked to join Tay Thanh Co’s pyramid scheme to earn the big money.

The initial investment is VND9 million (US$430).

If the investor manages to sign up five people, he or she gets VND5 million, and the amount goes up to VND8 million in case of 10 people.

It gradually increases to VND30 million and peaks at VND400 million ($19,500).

Investors get a member code and password for logging into the company’s website, where they can find out their position as well as payback.

There are brokers to push the scheme, and Tuoi Tre contacted them.

One of them said: “If you can sign up 35 members for Tay Thanh Co, you will be rewarded with a motorbike worth VND35 million.

“If you can introduce even more people, your reward could be car and villas worth billions of dong.”

Contradicting what one of the members had said earlier, he said some people near the top of the heap got as much as VND700 million ($34,100) a month.

The brokers gave Tuoi Tre a list of Tay Thanh Co’s seven bank accounts to which members must transfer money.

Only one -- at Vietcombank in Song Than in Binh Duong -- was in the company’s name, while five others were in the name of Pham Van Hoan and the other in that of Hoang Thi Xuan.

Hoan is registered as the company’s CEO and chairman, while Xuan is a shareholder.

A man who used to “invest” in Tay Thanh told Tuoi Tre that he was skeptical about the accounts.

“It does not seem normal that a company wants investors to send money to a personal bank account.

“Moreover, investors have got no receipts for their money.”

A man in Chau Duc District, Ba Ria – Vung Tau, said he had told his wife, sister, and niece to invest VND100 million in the scheme.

Asked if they had actually received any dividends from the company, he shook his head.
Le Dinh Lieu, director of the Ba Ria-Vung Tau office of the State Bank of Vietnam, said it was against the law for a company to mobilize investments online.

“It must be a fraud,” he said.

Local bank officials said the company would initially use investors’ own money to pay dividends and then use money paid by new members to pay old ones.

After a while, the company would default, they warned.

Investor fails in court bid for ACB compensation

The gold investor who raised a lawsuit against Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) to claim compensation worth 8,450 gold taels ended up losing his case.

The HCMC People’s Court on Monday ruled that the investor’s request was unfounded and the time allowed for the case had run out.

The lawsuit was filed by an investor identified as Ng. demanding compensation of 2,700 gold taels from ACB. Also, he said he would return VND42 billion to the bank.

On the trading day of December 24, 2007, as mentioned in his lawsuit, Ng. received a wrong notice from ACB gold trading floor, leading to his order to sell short 2,700 gold taels. After that, on March 10, 2008, ACB canceled the trading contract with Ng. without his knowledge.

Later on March 21, ACB sold 3,000 gold taels in Ng.’s account due to the change of gold reference price leading to a drop in security deposit rate. From March 27 to April 1, Ng. made an order to sell 2,750 taels because he had not known of the canceled contract.

Overall, Ng. incurred a loss of 8,450 gold taels due to the mistakes in transaction.

The panel of judges from the city court said Ng. had lost at the most VND85 million with 2,700 gold taels being sold short.

In addition, the time to declare a civil transaction null and void is two years. Therefore, the time allowed for the case had run out when Ng. made a request on October 5 this year.

Ng.’s request to disable the transaction from March 27 to April 1, 2008 was also turned down because of the same reason.

The panel also rejected his demand for 3,000 gold taels sold by ACB on March 21, 2008, saying ACB was not guilty because back then his debt rate exceeded the regulated limit.

Fisheries industry hopeful of positive year-end

Large numbers of fisheries processors reported hefty profits in January-September while export prices are believed to remain high towards the year-end.

Numerous listed companies have released their third quarter reports with both sales and profits sharply surging compared to the same period last year.

Accumulated after-tax profits at Mekong Fisheries Joint Stock Company was VND51 billion, up 43% year-on-year.

Also, Vinh Hoan Holding Joint Stock Co. in the third quarter obtained after-tax profits of over VND77 billion, a 33% year-on-year increase.

Sao Ta Food Joint Stock Co., a shrimp export specialist, collected a net profit of VND9.2 billion in the first nine months of the year, up 54% from the previous year.

Customs figures show the fisheries sector during January-September earned export sales of US$4.345 billion, 25% higher than that of last year.

In reality, such a good performance is ascribed to rising export prices and stable material supply at home.

Luong Hoang Manh, chairman of Mekong Fisheries, affirmed it was impossible for export prices to drop for the rest of the year due to material shortages.

Thus, Manh suggested enterprises should sign short-term contracts with a moderate volume to ensure delivery time as well as profits.

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) estimated larger orders of tra fish and shrimp of high value would arrive in the next three months.

Truong Dinh Hoe, general secretary of VASEP, told the Daily that tra fish exports will likely reach US$1.6 billion in value, exceeding US$1.5 billion as targeted earlier.

In the January-September period, shrimp exports earned US$1.7 billion, up 18.5% year-on-year and there is a high possibility this year it will surpass the US$2.1 billion of 2010, added Hoe.


http://english.vietnamnet.vn/en/business/14883/business-in-brief-3-11.html



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