Connect with us


Investment in healthcare: Encouraging signs for the post-pandemic economic rebound



Amid the sudden Covid-19 outbreak hitting the global economy hard, the government of Vietnam has made great efforts to support domestic businesses to overcome the difficult period. Many investment projects have been carried out and accelerated, which is a good sign, proving the strong economic recovery after a quiet period because of the pandemic.

3D perspective view of the hospital at the western gateway of Ho Chi Minh City which is about to be started at the end of May 2020.

Why is it necessary to create new momentum for Vietnam’s economic rebound?

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast, the global economy will decline this year, and this recession is even worse than the 2008 financial crisis.

Vietnam is also not out of the picture as the supply chain and trade flows are interrupted and production and business activities are suspended. A report of the Ministry of Planning and Investment shows that the health of Vietnamese enterprises is facing a great challenge. Many companies, household businesses and cooperatives have suspended or narrowed down their operations, reducing revenue by 40-50%. The sustainability of many businesses has been challenged, as about 34,900 enterprises had to withdraw from the market.

Facing this situation, at an online conference with ministries and localities in the middle of April 2020, the Prime Minister stressed that there must be a solution to remove difficulties for production and business, promote disbursement of public investment, protect people’s wellbeing, and ensure social order and safety. At the same time, it is necessary to seriously create “pushes” in many areas to help businesses recover and rebound strongly to make up for the lost time.

Positive signals from healthcare investment

Long An Obstetrics and Pediatrics Hospital – a typical project of Vietnam’s model of private healthcare development.

During the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, once again the issue of improvement in healthcare services and medical infrastructure was paid more attention. Therefore, investment projects in this field are also accelerated to timely meet practical needs.

For example, Long An Obstetrics and Pediatrics Hospital is a typical, pioneering project of the private healthcare model, launched in late February in Long An Province. Under the investment and operation aiming to meet international standards of Technology World Group (TWG), this 500-bed hospital has completely upgraded with modern medical equipment systems from the world’s renowned brands and a team of doctors and medical staff from leading hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City specializing in obstetrics and pediatrics. The hospital is now being urgently completed to put into operation in the near future.

Besides, another large-scale hospital is being established at the western gateway of Ho Chi Minh City. This Project, also invested by TWG with LB Vietnam – strategic partner being the official construction contractor, will be started in late May 2020. This is the first time Tan Phu District has a private general hospital with a capacity of 350 beds and a total investment of nearly VND1,000 billion.

LB Vietnam – the official construction contractor of TWG for the hospital project at the western gateway of Ho Chi Minh City.

The establishment of this hospital will help solve the problem of limited healthcare services in the gateway area of ​​the city. In addition to sharing the burden with the public health system, the hospital also meets the needs of people in neighboring provinces including Long An, Tien Giang, Tay Ninh or even the neighboring country of Cambodia, thereby attracting investment and changing the face of the city’s western part.

Mr. Le Cao Minh, General Director of TWG, commented: “From the right direction of the Government, TWG has been motivated to accelerate the process to put Long An Obstetrics and Pediatrics Hospital into operation, serving the people of the province and nearby. Most recently, TWG has also endeavored to carry out the general hospital project in the western area of ​​Ho Chi Minh City, since receiving the investment approval decision in March 2019 and the construction permit in April 2020.

“TWG is excited because it is one of the few companies that can maintain their current performance amid the epidemic which is strongly affecting the economy today. This also demonstrates TWG’s strategic and thorough orientation in developing social service infrastructure and bringing practical values ​​to the community.”

TWG is a multi-industry corporation with more than 14 years of experience in the fields of Geological Survey and Consulting, Construction, Education and Healthcare. Its brand reputation is guaranteed through key projects such as National Assembly Building, Thu Thiem II Bridge, Hanh Phuc residential area, Stella Mega City Can Tho, Golden Hills City, Van Lang University, and Sao Mai Solar Power Plant, etc. In the fields of healthcare and education, TWG has left its mark in many provinces and cities across the country with a network of more than 10 The Gold Beehive Kindergartens in Ho Chi Minh City and other provinces, Block C – Hoan My Da Nang Hospital, Long An Obstetrics and Pediatrics Hospital, Saigon International General Hospital Project (District 3, Ho Chi Minh City), etc.




Taxi giant lays off 1,300 employees



Taxi giant lays off 1,300 employees

A Vinasun taxi seen in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by Shutterstock/StreetVJ.

Vinasun has cut its staff by 1,300 in the first nine months as it restructures to reduce costs amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The staff cut has lowered the company’s salary costs by 35.5 percent year-on-year to VND80 billion ($3.4 million), saving it VND4.9 billion each month. It now has 4,480 employees.

However, lower salary costs have not been enough to offset Covid-19 impacts. The firm’s revenue in the first nine months plunged 52 percent year-on-year to VND734.7 billion, with business mostly frozen in April during the nationwide social distancing campaign.

It has posted a loss of VND185 billion so far this year, compared to a post-tax profit of VND94 billion in the same period last year.

It forecasts a post-tax loss of VND115 billion this year.

Company leaders have said they expect the recovery process to be slow due to a lack of foreign visitors. After Vietnam closed its borders and stopped international flights in March, only a few routes have resumed operations.


Continue Reading


Public debt estimated to reach 56.8% GDP by year end



The government’s report on public debt in 2020 and estimates in 2021 show remarkable figures about the national debt.

The total Government debt repayment in the first 9 months of 2020 was VND 241.375 trillion, or 65.8 percent of the whole yearly plan, including VND180.95 trillion paid for domestic debts and VND60.425 billion for foreign debts.

Public debt estimated to reach 56.8% GDP by year end

The government, considering predictions about the last months of the year, thinks that the total public debt will reach 56.8 percent of GDP by the end of the year, while the government’s debt will be 50.8 percent of GDP. The government’s debt direct repayment on the state budget collection would be 24.1 percent and the nation’s foreign debts would be 47.9 percent of GDP.

As such, the major indexes of the public debts in comparison with GDP by the end of the year would be within the safety line set by the National Assembly.

The government commented that the debt restructuring had made progress. The outstanding public debt has decreased from its peak of 63.7 percent of GDP in 2016 to 55 percent in late 2019. The public debt growth rate has decreased from 18.1 percent in 2011-2015 to 6.8 percent per annum in 2016-2019. Meanwhile, the interest rates are on the decrease and the payment terms on the increase.

“The repayment of the government’s debts in the last years have been implemented strictly to ensure repayment on time for both the government’s direct debts and the government’s borrowing for relending, not letting debts become overdue, which would break Vietnam’s commitments to lenders,” the report says.

In 2021, the government plans to borrow VND579 trillion for central budget balancing, including VND318 trilion for covering the central budget overexpenditures and VND260 trillion for paying the principal on the central budget.

The Government’s direct debt repayment obligation is roughly VND368.276 billion, of which domestic debt payment obligation is VND323.093 trillion and foreign debt obligation is VND45.183 trillion, equal to 27.4 percent of the state budget revenue.

As such, the ratio of the government’s direct repayment on the state budget collection exceeds the threshold of 25 percent set by the National Assembly for 2016-2020.

This is because the debts in government bonds are due in 2021 (VND187.001 trillion), which accounts for 13.9 percent of the state budget collection.

The government reported that the ratio of the government’s direct repayment obligation to the state budget revenue has increased rapidly and the figure is likely to exceed 25 percent in some years in the next periods, because the debts to be repaid are uneven in coming years and are especially high in some years.

This could pose potential risks to national financial security and affect the national credit rating. 

Luong Bang


Continue Reading


Individual purchases still key to market growth, VN-Index expected to end year at 1,000 points




An individual investor at Bảo Việt Securities JSC in Hà Nội. — VNA/ Photo Trần Việt

HÀ NỘI — Strong individual purchasing power has been the key to the strong rebound of the Vietnamese stock market this year after it was hit twice by the COVID-19 outbreaks.

Việt Nam’s benchmark VN-Index had its first collapse in late March when it lost total 26 per cent in the last three weeks of the month, leading up to a total slump of 33.4 per cent in the first quarter.

The second market collapse came in late July when the VN-Index was dragged down by total 8.35 per cent in two days.

Both collapses came after investors panicked after new coronavirus infection cases were reported in Hà Nội and Đà Nẵng.

In both collapses, strong purchasing power from individual investors has been the key to the strong market rebounds.

In January-September, more than 252,000 new trading accounts were opened at securities firms, up 34 per cent on-year, Tạ Thanh Bình, State Securities Commission’s Director of the Securities Market Development Department, told a conference on Wednesday.

In September alone, more than 31,400 new accounts were opened, she said, adding the growth of new accounts has made the local market more active.

Daily average trading volume on the Hồ Chí Minh and Hà Nội markets in the second and third quarters of the year grew by 40 per cent year on year, the commission official said.

The Vietnamese stock market has performed better than expectations, considered among the fastest-growing markets amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Bình added.

“We have almost reclaimed the loss during the year. The market capitalisation now accounts for 71.3 per cent of the country’s total GDP,” she said.

The benchmark VN-Index ended Wednesday at 939.03 points, a 5.29 per cent gap below its peak of 991.46 points made on January 22 before the collapses.

“Most individual investors want to stick around, especially when other options offer low interest rates,” Lê Đức Khánh, director of the investment department at VPS Securities JSC, told the conference.

“Though their accounts are new, they probably had experience and practice with the market,” he said.

As each investor would have his own method of investment, the potential boost provided for the market would vary from one to another.

“If you are value investors, just buy and hold onto the targeted stocks, take a vacation and come back when your investments are profitable without paying attention to the development of the whole market,” Khánh said.

There are now 2.6 million trading accounts in Việt Nam and each investor may have many accounts at different securities firms, Bùi Hoàng Hải, the commission’s director of the Securities Issuance Department, said.

“The number of trading accounts is expected to account for 3 per cent of Việt Nam’s total population in 2020 and 5 per cent in 2025,” he said.

“Compared to other markets such as the US and China, the expected figures are still humble,” Hải said.

“We need professional investors, who are strong enough to take the risk. The amended Law on Securities should correct the definition of professional investors and some fields should be explored by professional investors only.”

There should be a restructure for the market to classify the professional from the non-professional so newbies can get access to less risky sections of the securities market, he added.

“I think the market has not become too risky but investors should be really careful and make the right choice,” Khánh said.

Low interest rates offered by banks encourage people to look for alternative investment options, including securities market, he said.

“Việt Nam’s stock market has room to grow further. The market’s average price-to earnings per share (P/E) now is 16,” Khánh said.

“Obviously, there are plenty of opportunities at the moment and investors should look at companies with strong financial records to limit the risks and losses.”

Strong individual purchasing power may drive the VN-Index back to 980-1,000 points at the end of the year, he forecast. —



Continue Reading