Hanig: Minister asks India to open market for farm produce
February, 16/2023 – 07:44
Việt Nam hopes India will speed up the opening of its market for Việt Namese farm produce and fresh fruit, Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyễn Hồng Diên proposed during his reception of Indian Ambassador to Việt Nam Sandeep Arya in Hà Nội on Tuesday.
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam hopes India will speed up the opening of its market for farm produce and fresh fruit, Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyễn Hồng Diên proposed during his reception for Indian Ambassador to Việt Nam Sandeep Arya in Hà Nội on Tuesday.
Highlighting that Việt Nam is rich in tropical fruits, but only dragon fruit has reached the Indian market, Minister Diên asked for the Indian diplomat’s support in hastening the import licensing process for Vietnamese fruits, initially longan, pomelo, rambutan and durian, and then for others such as avocado, coconut, watermelon and strawberry.
The Vietnamese official raised concerns about India’s policy measures in recent years, including those against peppercorn, cashew nuts and incense sticks of Việt Nam, underlining that the measures may hinder trade activities between the two sides.
He suggested that the Indian ambassador convey these concerns of Việt Nam in particular and ASEAN countries in general to relevant authorities, while seeking suitable solutions on the basis of regulations and commitments in a multilateral framework, ensuring the legitimate interests of all parties.
Diên hailed the role of the ambassador in promoting the partnership between the two countries, especially in trade, industry and energy. He expressed his hope that the diplomat will make greater contributions to the growth of the Việt Nam-India comprehensive strategic partnership in the time to come.
Both sides shared delight at the expanding bilateral economic, trade and investment cooperation over the years, with India becoming the largest investor and trade partner of Việt Nam in the South Asian region.
Two-way trade reached only US$15 billion in 2022, up 13.6 per cent year on year but accounting for only 2 per cent of the total trade of Việt Nam and the world, they noted.
They held that with the sound political and diplomatic relations, high cooperation potential and large international scale of both sides, there is still room for both sides to further promote their bilateral trade.
Diên asked for India’s close coordination in preventing the disruption of the supply and production chain in the region and the world.
The two sides should increase trade promotion programmes and activities to connect businesses of the two countries, the Vietnamese minister said.
For his part, Ambassador Sandeep Arya said that Việt Nam is the most important trade partner of India among the ASEAN countries, and the Vietnamese and Indian economies can supplement each other. Việt Nam is also India’s important partner within its Indo-Pacific Vision and Act East Policy, he said.
He spoke highly of the economic cooperation potential between the two countries, especially in renewable energy, oil and gas, information technology, digital economy and pharmaceuticals, which will lead to abundant collaboration opportunities between the two sides at present and in the future.
The diplomat agreed with measures to strengthen the bilateral economic and trade ties proposed by Diên, especially those on preventing the disruption of supply chains, strengthening trade promotion and expanding the trade of farm produce.
Regarding India’s trade-restrictive policy measures, Ambassador Sandeep Arya pledged that he will discuss the issue with relevant Indian agencies to seek positive solutions.
As both sides are preparing for high-level visits in 2023, they should promptly deal with existing problems in bilateral economic and trade partnership, he underlined.
He agreed to organise the next meeting of the Việt Nam-India joint sub-committee on trade cooperation in New Delhi in the first half of 2023 before the organisation of the Việt Nam-India Joint Committee’s meeting and visits of leaders of the two countries this year.
— VNS LINK
Henig: SBV to prioritise credit for production, business in HCM City
February, 16/2023 – 10:22
The State Bank of Việt Nam’s (SBV) HCM City branch will continue to prioritise credit for production and business, especially in priority sectors, to boost economic recovery.
HCM CITY — The State Bank of Việt Nam’s (SBV) HCM City branch will continue to prioritise credit for production and business, especially in priority sectors, to boost economic recovery.
Nguyễn Đức Lệnh, deputy director of the SBV’s HCM City branch, said the credit flow would be directed to priority sectors while credit quality would also be improved.
Priority fields include agriculture, rural areas, exports, small and medium-sized enterprises, supporting industries, high-tech enterprises, and others.
Credit institutions must also ensure stable liquidity, safe banking operations, and strictly control credit from potentially risky areas, according to Lệnh.
Credit growth in the city has focused on production and business to support economic recovery, accounting for 60-70 per cent of the total outstanding loans, said Lệnh.
Last December, the SBV lifted the credit growth target by 1.5-2 percentage points for 2022 from its earlier target of 14 per cent, allowing lenders to lend an additional VNĐ240 trillion (US$9.7 billion).
Interest rates remain high
Economist Lê Xuân Nghĩa, a member of the National Financial and Monetary Policy Advisory Council, said interest rates are still too high, despite the central bank calling on banks to cut lending rates to support enterprises.
Deposit interest rates at banks have surged to as much as 12 per cent per year, pushing lending interest rates up to 15-16 per cent a year, he said.
If the inflation rate is around 4 per cent, the savings interest rates should be around 6-7 per cent per year, he added.
Experts have predicted the deposit interest rate will remain high at least until June and that deposit rates would peak in the first half of 2023 with an increase of 1-1.5 percentage points.
Recently, the Việt Nam Banks Association called on commercial banks to keep deposit interest rates at 9.5 per cent or below to reduce lending interest rates.
Commercial banks started lowering deposit interest rates early this month and cut further last week, raising hope of a drop in lending rates.
SBV Governor Nguyễn Thị Hồng has constantly called on banks to cut operating costs and improve administrative procedures so as to reduce lending interest rates.
Expert Cấn Văn Lực said enterprises should look to other capital mobilisation channels instead of relying too much on bank loans.
— VNS LINK
HenigL VN-Index to increase by over 20 per cent this year: VinaCapital
February, 16/2023 – 09:43
The rally in Vietnamese stocks still has a long way to go, with the consensus expecting the VN-Index to increase by over 20 per cent this year, Michael Kokalari, chief economist at investment fund VinaCapital, has said in a recent report.
HCM CITY — The rally in Vietnamese stocks still has a long way to go, with the consensus expecting the VN-Index to increase by over 20 per cent this year, Michael Kokalari, chief economist at investment fund VinaCapital, has said in a recent report.
The index surged by 10.3 per cent in January, driven by an easing of concerns about the credit crunch and corporate bond market, which were the main reasons for a 33 per cent fall in 2022, and by a resurgence in foreign buying.
The 10 per cent increase outpaced the 4 per cent average in Asian emerging market peers (Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines) though admittedly the low-base effect was in play since the decline in Việt Nam’s stock market last year was much greater.
The biggest contributor to the increase was an average 15 per cent rise in the prices of bank shares, which accounted for nearly half of the index’s gains.
It was due in part to an easing of concerns that corporations (especially property developers) will face challenges rolling over or redeeming US$13 billion worth of maturing bonds this year, which could have created significant issues for banks, which hold nearly $10 billion worth of bonds.
“Notwithstanding all of the above, we also see some evidence that the rebound in bank share prices was also driven by a rotation out of the best performing stocks in 2022 and into the worst performing stocks,” Kokalari said.
Over half the stocks that drove the increase in January were among the 20 that pulled the index down the most last year, and those 20 contributed a third of the market’s increase, he said.
Foreign inflows rebounded in November-January, partly because the market’s valuation had reached its lowest level in nearly ten years, with a P/E ratio of below 10x. Foreign investors bought $1.3 billion of stocks in November-January, including $179 million in January alone.
The stock that foreigners bought the most in January was steel producer Hòa Phát Group (HPG). Foreigners are hopeful that China’s reopening would also lead to a revival of construction in that country and that Việt Nam’s Government would follow through on its ambitious plans to increase infrastructure spending by 50 per cent this year (to $30 billion), Kokalari said.
Finally, a modest decline in the value of the US dollar/DXY Index helped boost Asia emerging stock markets in January, another factor that helped drive the VN-Index higher, he added.
“We remain cautiously optimistic that the Vietnamese market will move higher in 2023, even after the strong start.
“We also believe that while many of the stocks that drove the market higher in January will be decent performers this year, much of this year’s performance will come from stocks that did not have a very strong January, and that select mid- and small-cap stocks will be very attractive the next 12 months.”
He said stock selection will continue to be important this year because 2023 will not be a simple beta rally. Active managers like VinaCapital have an opportunity to outperform the VNI and deliver a better risk-adjusted return, he said.
— VNS LINK
Henig: Bình Dương Province attracts second most FDI in Việt Nam
February, 16/2023 – 09:23
Bình Dương Province as of the end of 2022 has attracted more than 4,082 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects with nearly US$40 billion of registered funds, ranking it among the top two provinces in the country in FDI attraction, just after HCM City.
BÌNH DƯƠNG — Bình Dương Province as of the end of 2022 has attracted more than 4,082 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects with nearly US$40 billion of registered funds, ranking it among the top two provinces in the country in FDI attraction, just after HCM City.
HCM City and Bình Dương were the leading localities in FDI attraction in 2022 with $3.94 billion and $3.14 billion, respectively.
According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s (MPI) Foreign Investment Agency, the southeast region will continue to be the major FDI magnet of the country in 2023. This year, the country may lure about $36-38 billion in FDI.
Bình Dương has estimated its gross regional domestic product (GRDP) growth rate at 8.01 per cent and GRDP per capital at VNĐ170 million ($7,100), according to the provincial People’s Committee.
Bình Dương’s total import and export turnover hit nearly $61.5 billion, of which, exports reached $35.7 billion, up 9 per cent year-on-year, resulting in a trade surplus of $10 billion. Total social investment capital reached over VNĐ154.5 trillion, up 12.9 per cent year-on-year.
Denmark was the biggest investor of Bình Dương with $1.32 billion, followed by the Netherlands with $609 million, and China at $258 million.
Preben Enef, general director of LEGO Vietnam Technology Co. Ltd. (Denmark), which is investing $1.3 billion in a toy factory in Bình Dương, appreciated the support from leaders of the province as well as ministries for the construction of the project.
The locality’s post-pandemic recovery and development efforts have also gained applause from the Republic of Korea Chamber of Commerce (KOCHAM) office in Bình Dương and the European Chamber of Commerce (EUROCHAM) in Việt Nam.
In recent years, Bình Dương has spent large amount of money to improve road infrastructure to enhance transport connectivity with HCM City and nearby provinces, develop concentrated industrial zones and attract workers from provinces and cities around the country.
Early this year, Secretary of the Bình Dương Party’s Committee Nguyễn Văn Lợi directed departments and relevant units to speed up the construction and upgrade progress of National Highway 13 from six lanes to eight lanes to improve the connectivity of the province and HCM City.
National Highway 13 not only plays the role of the “backbone” traffic axis of the province’s transport system, but is also an arterial route connecting HCM City to Bình Phước and the Central Highlands provinces.
The province also plans to expand and upgrade the Mỹ Phước – Tân Vạn expressway and provincial highways No. 743, 747B and 746, which will improve transport to Đồng Nai Province and HCM City.
The upgrade of Mỹ Phước – Tân Vạn expressway is one of the key projects because it connects urban areas and industrial parks, and opens up a freight corridor along the North – South backbone axis parallel to National Highway 13.
This will create favourable conditions for access to Cái Mép – Thị Vải Port in Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province and the Long Thành International Airport in the future, according to the construction department.
The widening of major roads such as National Highway 13 and Mỹ Phước – Tân Vạn between concentrated industrial zones has eased travel to ports.
The province is always looking to develop transport infrastructure to help ship goods to other provinces and abroad.
It plans to further improve transport connectivity by developing waterways and, in the future, create a rail link to transport goods to ports in HCM City and Đồng Nai Province.
— VNS LINK