|A medical worker prepares AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine for injection – PHOTO: VNA|
For enterprises, protecting the people’s health does not look like their mandate, but hundreds of local businesses have rolled up their sleeves for the common cause in the midst of the raging Covid-19 pandemic. Aware of their corporate social responsibility, enterprises across the country have opened their coffers, pouring out hundreds of billions of Vietnamese dong to finance the national vaccination drive.
Just three weeks ago, the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee of HCMC organized a function to receive donations from enterprises for the city’s program to buy vaccines for fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, and the enthusiasm from enterprises amazed many attendees.
“As of April 23 this year, the city had received more than VND200 billion from 31 organizations and individuals,” said To Thi Bich Chau, head of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee of HCMC, at the function. That is not to mention donations in kind worth nearly VND70 billion contributed to the city’s vaccination drive.
At the event, Hung Thinh Corporation donated a huge sum of VND50 billion to buy vaccines. Nguyen Nam Hien, deputy general director of Hung Thinh Corporation, noted that the corporation has responded to the call from the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee of HCMC, contributing VND50 billion for HCMC and other localities to buy vaccines. “Apart from this donation, we will continue to support other activities of HCMC and the country to fight the Covid-19 pandemic,” he promised.
In fact, this huge donation is just a part of the corporation’s CSR program to support the community in tough times. When the pandemic surfaced last year, Hung Thinh already donated nearly VND50 billion in cash and in kind, including Covid-19 diagnosis machines, portable X-ray machines, protective gears for medical personnel, and other essential items for frontline workers.
Numerous other enterprises in the country have since early this year also given big bugs for the vaccination program.
On February 25, An Phat Holdings handed over VND20 billion to help the northern province of Hai Duong acquire vaccines for the local people who were then struggling with the third wave of Covid-19 outbreaks. Pham Van Tuan, a senior executive of An Phat Holdings, remarked that the company wished to join forces with the provincial government and other entities to quickly contain outbreaks. Earlier that same month, An Phat Holdings had already donated VND10 billion plus medical supplies worth VND3.5 billion to the provincial government to help with the fight against Covid-19.
In similar gestures, Thaiholdings and LienVietPostBank on February 5 donated a combined VND21 billion to the Ministry of Health to acquire Covid-19 vaccines. Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long, speaking at the donation ceremony, highly regarded the generosity of the two companies, stressing “access to Covid-19 vaccines is a top priority of the healthcare sector.”
The minister also reckoned the development of domestic vaccine candidates, saying initial but encouraging results have been achieved. Nanogen has surpassed the first-stage clinical trial and is ready for the second-stage trial, said the minister, referring to the local vaccine candidate. Meanwhile, two other locally-developed candidates by IVAX and VABIOTEC have yielded highly-prospective pre-clinical results.
The development of local Covid-19 vaccines has also earned strong support from local enterprises. Besides giving financial support to buy vaccines, the multi-sector business corporation Vingroup on February 27 handed VND20 billion to the Ministry of Health to support the clinical trial of Covivac vaccine by IVAX. This support, said Minister Long at the donation ceremony, would help speed up the clinical trial of the local vaccine candidate, helping the country launch a Made-in-Vietnam Covid-19 vaccine in the coming time.
According to the health ministry’s website, Vingroup is a strong pioneer in backing the fight against Covid-19. Last year, the group provided over VND1,270 billion, or more than US$50 million, to fund activities against the pandemic, including manufacturing ventilators, acquiring medical machines, and financing projects to respond to Covid-19 outbreaks.
The list of donors for the fight against Covid-19 has been extending over the past year since the pandemic hit the country. These include Nestle Vietnam and Lavie – the latter being a member of Nestle Group – donating nearly VND40 billion, and Vietcombank giving VND4.2 billion to Hai Duong Province to buy a Covid-19 diagnosis machine, among others.
Vaccines for own workers
Before giving their helping hand to the community, many enterprises have earlier pledged to protect their own workers by seeking approval from health authorities to vaccinate their employees against Covid-19.
Kim Oanh Group, for example, in early March unveiled its plan to acquire over 5,000 vaccine doses for its employees and their relatives who will be given the shot all free of charge upon approval from the health ministry, according to Tuoi Tre. Hung Thinh Corporation has also announced its plan to buy over 14,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines for all its staff and their familities. This similar move has also been announced by other enterprises, including Dat Xanh, An Gia, Hi-Kool Vietnam, and Gotec Land among others.
Nguyen Dinh Trung, chairman of Hung Thinh, said the corporation as well as many other enterprises are willing to finance inoculation against Covid-19 for all their employees and their relatives. “Such a move is not only a necessary response to protect the workforce as the most valuable asset of enterprises, but also a corporate responsibility to share the burden with the State, the community and the entire society,” Trung was quoted in Giadinh.net. He furthered that with vaccines as a shield, the war against Covid-19 will certainly come to success.
In a recent meeting, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long rallied the participation of the business community in the vaccination drive, saying their support would help the country realize the program to safeguard all the people from the pandemic. According to the ministry, Vietnam needs to import some 150 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines this year, which will require huge financial resources and exert great pressure on the State budget.
Although protecting the people’s health is not a mandate of the business community, their active participation, either via direct donations to the relevant State agencies or through vaccination plans for their own workers, is also a great contribution to the common cause of the nation to ward off the pandemic for the good of the economy and the community. Such contribution is all the more urgent now that the fourth wave of Covid-19 has attacked the country, with hundreds of infections confirmed each day, which requires not only efforts by State agencies, healthcare authorities and other frontline workers, but also the participation of enterprises. To some extent, enterprises joining the drive can also be considered as frontline forces.
Excited but anxious: Hanoi business owners reopen
Though they eagerly reopen after being closed for 27 days due to the Covid-19 outbreak, many Hanoi businesses are also worried about changing consumer behaviors.
Closed restaurants inside a shopping mall in Ha Dong District, Hanoi, June 20. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Minh.
After Hanoi authorities announced that indoor dining and hairdressing can resume on Tuesday, Bui Quang Hung, co-founder of barber shop chain 30Shine, showed his excitement with a post on social media saying, “see you Hanoians on Tuesday morning.”
He said the shops would open from 7.30 a.m. until late night to clear a backlog of almost a month.
“Men have to visit the barber once every three weeks on average because they feel irritated if their hair is one to two centimeters too long.”
There would be two or three times the usual number of customers for two weeks, he said based on his experience from previous waves.
But some other businesses are less hopeful.
Trieu Nguyen Quan, owner of the Goofoo Gelato chain of ice cream shops, does not expect many customers for 10 days after reopening since people are afraid of the pandemic.
Hoang Tung, CEO of fast-food restaurant chain Pizza Home, said the outbreak could cause him to lose a number of customers since people have adopted a new habit of eating at home.
To survive the stop-start nature of their business amid the pandemic, many have sought to improve their business model. Tung said Pizza Home has closed some stores that were not doing well but has expanded into home delivery and apps.
“The restaurants have to operate both online and offline, and must be prepared for the worst, which is closure, amid the pandemic.”
Goofoo Gelato too has managed to pull on thanks to online sales.
Quan said he plans to increase the number of outlets but only after vaccination. He said vaccination is the only way to make him feel secure and the ultimate solution for businesses to open and the economy to revive.
Around 2 percent of the population has received the first shot, and 0.1 percent has received both.
Vietnam has received delivery of around three million vaccine doses so far, and is expected to get over 120 million this year.
It seeks around 150 million in all to cover 70 percent of its population.
Market falls on strong selling forces
HÀ NỘI — Shares inched down on Wednesday, weighed by strong selling pressure across most sectors despite gains in some large-cap stocks.
The market benchmark VN-Index on the Hồ Chí Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE) declined by 0.22 per cent to 1,376.87 points. The market’s breath stayed negative with 298 stocks falling, while 94 stocks rose and 51 ended flat.
The liquidity was high as more than 710.77 million shares were traded on the market, worth over VNĐ21.1 trillion (US$528.6 million).
The market was weighed by selling forces despite rallies in large-cap stocks, especially bank stocks.
The VN30-Index, which tracks 30 biggest stocks in market capitalisation on HoSE, climbed slightly 0.02 per cent to 1,489.53 points. Twenty stocks of the VN30 basket plummeted, while only nine jumped and one stayed unchanged.
Stocks in many sectors posted negative performance yesterday with material stocks leading the market’s trend. Vietnam Rubber Group (GVR) witnessed the biggest losses, down 2.47 per cent, followed by No Va Land Investment Group Corporation (Novaland, NVL), Vingroup JSC (VIC) and Mansan Group (MSN), down 0.5 – 1.57 per cent.
However, the losses were limited by gains in bank stocks. Of which, Vietcombank (VCB) was the biggest gainer in the market, up 1.95 per cent. Other stocks witnessing big increases were Vietinbank (CTG), VPBank (VPB) and Saigon Beer – Alcohol – Beverage Corporation (SAB), up more than 1.5 per cent.
The market has fluctuated since the beginning of the week with alternative up and down sessions.
Analysts from Saigon – Hanoi Securities JSC (SHS) said that based on Elliot Theory, there is still room for an upward trend with a resistance level of around 1,400 points.
Investors who took profits last week should refrain from opening long positions at the current price and wait until the market corrects deeper to come back, SHS added.
On the Hà Nội Stock Exchange (HNX), the HNX-Index plunged 0.41 per cent to 315.8 points.
During the trading session, more than 126.2 million shares were traded on the northern bourse, worth nearly VNĐ3 trillion.
Meanwhile, foreign investors returned to the market as they net bought a value of VNĐ159.5 billion on both exchanges. Of which, they net bought a value of VNĐ144.44 billion on HoSE, and a value of VNĐ15.06 billion on HNX. —
Local stocks experience gloomy trading day
|An investor browses his mobile phone while sitting in front of stock information screens. The local stock market ended lower today, June 23 – PHOTO: VNA|
HCMC – Thanks to the support of securities stocks and largecaps in the banking sector, the benchmark VN-Index of the HCMC stock market only fell slightly amid lackluster trading today, June 23.
At the close, the main index shed 3.1 points, or 0.22% against the previous session at 1,376.87, with 94 stocks rising and up to 298 others dropping.
Turnover on the southern bourse continued its downward trend, contracting 4.8% in volume and 5.7% in value at over 710 million shares and more than VND21 trillion. Shares traded in block deals contributed VND2.050 trillion to the overall value.
In the group of bank stocks, largecaps extended rally which helped the VN-Index to avoid a deep decline.
Private lender VPB was the biggest winner as it soared 4.5% with 30.7 million shares changing hands. Also, State-owned lender VCB added 2%, and its fellows CTG and BID rose 1.5% and 0.9%, respectively. TPB, ACB, and TCB increased slightly by 0.4-0.8%.
Meanwhile, lender LPB was the biggest loser, dropping 2% to its intraday low. Similarly, lenders SSB and EIB lost around 1%.
Many securities stocks maintained their good performance, with HCM surging 3.6%, VDS improving 2.6%, CTS edging up 1.4%.
A lot of fuel and property stocks ended deep in the red.
Among speculative stocks, while a host of them suffered from huge losses, investment firm FIT hit its upper limit, real estate firms SCR and IJC rose slightly.
Property developing group FLC recorded the third straight losing session with a 5.8% drop, but it led the HCMC market by liquidity with 47 million shares changing hands.
On the northern bourse, the HNX-Index lost 1.29 points, or 0.41% over the session earlier to close at 315.8, with 73 advancers and 133 decliners. Over 126 million shares worth more than VND2.8 trillion were transacted on the bourse, falling 22.9% in volume and 21.7% in value versus the previous day.
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