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HEINEKEN Vietnam’s sustainability journey with positive values for communities and the planet




Alexander Koch (R), managing director of HEINEKEN Vietnam, and Tran Minh Triet, deputy managing director of the firm, give a gift set to a resident in Quang Ngai Province – PHOTO: HEINEKEN

Supporting communities is one among six key focuses on HEINEKEN Vietnam’s sustainability agenda towards “Brewing a better Vietnam”. In the aftermath of the recent floods in Central Vietnam, HEINEKEN Vietnam employees in Bia Viet outfit have volunteered to come to one of the most severely impacted areas in the central province of Quang Tri to deliver donations in form of essential products and cash to the local residents. 

With 3 billion VND earmarked for the mission, 5,000 local people are estimated to benefit from Bia Viet brand’s donation to start restoring livelihood.

Apart from the annual support programs for the community and charity activities in response to natural disasters, HEINEKEN Vietnam has been very flexible in its business plans to ensure safety for the community. Bia Viet, the newest brand of the brewery, was launched early this year when COVID-19 had just broken out. Instead of launching eye-catching roadshows to promote the new brand, the company decided to set aside 10 billion VND to support the national fight against COVID-19.

The donation went to support healthcare workers and other front-liners involved in the fight against the pandemic. Larue as another brand of HEINEKEN Vietnam also donated 2 billion VND and 22,000 face masks when the second wave of COVID-19 hit the central region, taking the donation made by HEINEKEN Vietnam for the fight against COVID-19 to a total of 12 billion VND.

Earlier during the year, the HEINEKEN Group has also donated 15 million EUR via the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The global group has also pledged not to lay off workers across all of its subsidiaries worldwide.

When social distancing to flatten the COVID-19 curve, which had restaurants and bars in Vietnam close business, was lifted, HEINEKEN Vietnam has initiated many programs to help partners resume business. These include “Joining Forces for Success” mobilizing 440 employees in 11 cities and provinces nationwide to visit and support 100 restaurants when they were open to business again The Tiger brand, meanwhile, launched the “Wakening the street” initiative, serving consumers with 1.5 million bottles of beer in 47 cities and provinces across the country, helping to woo customers back to these F&B outlets.

Ms. Le Thi Ngoc My, Head of Sustainability, HEINEKEN Vietnam, says the company has always pursued its goal of creating positive and sustainable values. In fact, HEINEKEN Vietnam has always been reaching out to where help is needed whenever disasters or mishaps occur.

However, what is more important in the company’s strategy is to protect the planet for all the people’s well-being, she says.

Floods, droughts, and diseases – extreme consequences of climate change – are occurring at a higher frequency worldwide, Ngoc My notes. These have increasingly upended the people’s livelihood and the economy. HEINEKEN Vietnam has sought to step up sustainable development in its production and business by optimizing the circular-economy model for safeguarding the environment.

The circular-economy model promoted by HEINEKEN Vietnam is known as RESOLVE – Regenerate, Share, Optimize, Loop, Visualize and Exchange. RESOLVE has seen five out of six plants of HEINEKEN Vietnam using renewable energy.

This has greatly benefited the people.

Ngoc My says that by changing into biomass energy that required nearly 40,000 tons of rice husk and other farm wastes and byproducts in 2019 alone, the company helped generate a total income of 52.6 billion VND for locals.

Such activities are a part of the wider landscape when it comes to environmental protection. HEINEKEN Vietnam has managed to optimize environment-friendly transport, using only trucks meeting Euro 4 standards and maximizing train services, an initiative that has helped reduce carbon emission by up to 2,000 tons, according to the company.

HEINEKEN Vietnam has also done away with landfill regarding waste treatment, as the company recycles up to 99% of waste and by-products. Bottles and crates have always been recovered. Used bottles are strictly sterilized for reuse. The company says a bottle can be reused up to 20 times, while a crate has a lifetime of five to ten years. After that, bottles and crates will be crushed or ground, and then sold to companies manufacturing glass and plastic products.

Besides its proactive approach in environmental protection in the entire supply chain, HEINEKEN Vietnam also manages to raise its employees’ awareness on sustainable development, especially with the introduction of the Green Office program. The primary goal is to reduce consumption of water, paper and energy. Employees are advised to segregate wastes at source at all offices and factories, and to reject single-use plastic products.

Having made strong achievements in sustainable development, HEINEKEN Vietnam has set an even more ambitious goal in this approach by 2025. The company targets to use 100% renewable energy at all its six breweries across the country, and return to the environment all water it uses in production, of course meeting the highest standard. The company also pledges to reuse or recycle all wastes and by-products, without any going to the landfill.



VN-Index continues to fly high



Maybank Kim Eng Securities employees monitor share prices in this file photo. The VN-Index of the Hochiminh Stock Exchange expanded by 0.54% on December 2 – PHOTO: THANH HOA

HCMC – Despite unfavorable news about the complicated Covid-19 situation, active trading continued to help the VN-Index of the Hochiminh Stock Exchange fly high, ending at 1,014.32 points today, December 2, increasing by 0.54%, or 5.45 points, against the previous session.

Winning stocks outnumbered losers by 234 to 199. The southern market saw 684.5 million shares worth over VND14.3 trillion change hands, surging by 17.4% in volume and 22.6% in value against the previous session. Some 200 million shares worth over VND4.64 trillion were traded in block deals, including 160 million shares worth VND3.44 trillion of construction enterprise DIG.

The strong cash flow helped many bluechips extend. In the VN30 basket, electricity stock POW shot up to the ceiling price at VND10,800. Other top performers were property firm VHM, brewery SAB and low-cost air carrier VJC, increasing by 2.28% to VND85,200, 1.71% to VND196,800 and 1.27% to VND119,500, respectively.

Among bank stocks, TCB grew by 2.45% to VND25,100, while MBB and VCB were up 2.4% to VND21,350 and 1.63% to VND93,500, respectively.

Other large-cap stocks that gained ground included GAS, MSN, GVR, VRE, PLX, FPT, BVH and EIB, but at modest rates.

In contrast, industrial development corporation BCM, lender TPB and mobile phone retailer MWG were the biggest losers, declining by 4.16%, 2.01% and 1.72%, respectively.

Lender TCB led the southern market by liquidity with 27.5 million shares traded, followed by POW with 24.8 million shares.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index increased by 1.25%, or 1.86 points, against the previous session, to close the day at 150.8 points, with gainers outnumbering decliners by 95 to 63. There were 69.8 million shares worth over VND1 trillion traded on the northern bourse.

The top gainers were service company THD and port operator PHP, which soared by over 9% to VND121,000 and VND15,700, respectively, and investment and trading company TNG and industrial development firm IDC, which shot up to the respective ceiling price of VND15,000 and VND32,400.

Major contributors also included securities company SHS, bank stock SHB and construction stock VCG, up 2.07%, 0.58% and 0.48%, respectively.

SHB led the northern market by liquidity with 9.8 million shares changing hands.

Lender ACB, one of the largest and most actively traded stocks on the Hanoi Stock Exchange, will be moved to the Hochiminh Stock Exchange from December 3.


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Social impacts key success factor for Vietnamese startups: experts



Social impacts key success factor for Vietnamese startups: experts

Entrepreneurs attend the Gala Startup Viet 2020 in Ho Chi Minh City in December 2020. Photo by VnExpress.

Vietnamese startups using technology to create positive and sustainable impacts on the larger community have higher chances to succeed, experts say.

Le Diep Kieu Trang, a popular entrepreneur in Vietnam’s tech industry and founder of private equity firm Alabaster, said while many entrepreneurs focus on short-term benefits, those who can deliver products and services that are both profitable and have a positive influence on society are usually more well-received by the public.

Trang, one of the judges of the Startup Viet Gala 2020, a competition hosted by VnExpress Wednesday for young entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas and raise funds, said many youngsters think creating an app is by itself guarantees success, but in reality, attracting users to the app is the key and this is not easy.

“Apps only have impacts if they can attract users,” she reiterated.

Truong Gia Binh, chairman of tech giant FPT, said although technology is very important and the modern entrepreneur needs to have knowledge of artificial intelligence and Big Data, the most important knowledge is about humans.

“Startups need to know what value are you bringing and to whom.”

To succeed, entrepreneurs also need to find the right teammates and persevere. “No matter how many times you fail, stand up again,” he said.

Other experienced entrepreneurs also said that being persistent was very important. Phan Xuan Canh, CEO of recruitment platform Viec.Co, said in order to achieve a vision, startups will have to try different paths and fail, and perseverance is needed to go through the process.

As a judge at Startup Viet Gala 2020, Trang said she prefers startups that can bring a new and breakthrough product to the table with high technological application, and the company needs to be able to expand its market throughout Vietnam and the world.

“If your business model does not survive in Vietnam, I don’t think you can survive overseas.”

Step out of comfort zone

The problem with many startups in Vietnam is that they try to improve on the traditional business model with modern technology without bringing in any breakthrough idea, and those that only do this will not attract investments, she added.

Trang said she wants Vietnamese startups to think bigger. Although the Covid-19 pandemic has caused major difficulties in most sectors, it has also opened new doors for startups, not just in the Vietnamese market, but the world as a whole, she said.

Entrepreneurs who are willing to step out of their comfort zone and take this opportunity to move forward with more emphasis on the online market will have bigger advantages, she added.

Startup Viet 2020 Gala seeks to identify the best 15 startups in Vietnam and award them with a prize pool of VND3 billion ($130,000).

The winner of the competition on Wednesday was Tep Bac, which provides management and analysis services for seafood farms using technology. Other notable startups in the top five were Drone Pro, a provider of delivery services using drones, and BioStarch, which produces environment-friendly plastic bags using a mixture of cassava powder and primary microplastics for fast decomposition.


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VND4 trillion tower: no buyer after 10 years



Many buildings up for sale cannot find buyers.

JLL has reported a slowdown in the number of real estate M&A deals in the first nine months of the year.

VND4 trillion tower: no buyer after 10 years

One example: BIDV announced the selection of an institution to organize the auction of the debt of Tai Nguyen Construction, Production and Trade Company. The assets put into auction were the principal and interest on the auction day, worth VND4.063 trillion.

Kenton Residences is one of the projects developed by Tai Nguyen. It was initially designed covering an area of 9.1 hectares, comprising nine 15-35-story towers, 1,640 high-end apartments and a 20,000 square meter shopping mall. The total investment capital was $300 million.

The construction began in 2009, but stopped in 2011. In 2017, Kenton Residence was activated again, renamed into Kenton Node, and had the design changed.

BIDV Gia Dinh Branch also announced the compulsory sale of 65 apartments at Ky Nguyen Apartment Bloc in district 7, HCM City developed by Duc Khai JSC. The starting selling price was VND2.188-5.4 billion per apartment with the area of 135.98 to 368.45 square meters.

The prices are reasonable at VND15-16 million per square meter, including VAT.

This is the third time that BIDV has offered to sell Ky Nguyen apartments. The first auction was organized in October 2019, when only one out of 27 apartments was sold.

Commercial banks, one after another, have continuously put real estate into auction to collect debts since the beginning of the year.

VietinBank has offered to sell the land-use rights and assets on land at Can Tho Center, 3.23 hectares, with the starting price of VND190 billion.

On its website, SCB have offered to sell 10 real estate assets which have value of between several billions of dong and hundreds of billion of dong. These include Phuoc Son storehouse in Thuan An commune in Binh Duong province, offered at VND830 billion.

The other assets, houses and land use rights are offered at VND2.2-10 billion.

Dinh The Hien, a finance expert, commented that banks have recently put real estate into auction to collect debts, while they previously sold assets through many different channels.

Though the selling prices are viewed as ‘very reasonable’, many assets still cannot find buyers. The assets of Hung Ngan Housing JSC have been put into auction four times with prices falling by tens of percent compared with the first auction. But they still cannot be sold.

In the latest auction, BIDV set the starting price at VND396 billion, or 24 percent lower than the figure at the first auction in February 2020. 

Duy Anh


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