The Vietnam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex) plans to sell 15 million treasury stocks in transactions held between June 16 and July 15 to mobilise capital for investment in 2020,
announced chairman Pham Van Thanh at Petrolimex’s recent annual general meeting of shareholders.
The meeting, initially scheduled for April but then postponed due to COVID-19, took place in the form of videoconferencing on June 26.
According to Thanh, the sale also aims at enhancing liquidity of PLX, the code of the company listed on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE).
After these transactions, there will be 88 million shares left, which have attracted attention from many potential investors, including Japanese-based oil and gas ENEOS corporation, previously named JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation. ENEOS currently holds an 8-percent stake in Petrolimex.
At the shareholders’ meeting last year, a representative of ENEOS said they wanted to own 20 percent of the group’s capital.
Petrolimex signed a memorandum on strategic co-operation with ENEOS in December 2014. The Japanese firm has a capital of 30 billion JPY, with the number of its employees reaching 9,206 as of April 1 this year. The company accounts for 50 percent of market shares in Japan in terms of gasoline sales.
Petrolimex has sent an open letter requiring ENEOS to obtain the share and is waiting for the strategic partner’s response.
Petrolimex’s disinvestment plan was at the centre of the question & answer session at this year’s shareholders’ meeting.
Thanh said under the plan approved in Prime Minister’s Decision 1232/QD-TTg for the 2019-2020, the group will work to reduce the State-owned capital to 51 percent this year from the current 75.86 percent.
The group’s general director Pham Duc Thang said the implementation of the disinvestment plan in accordance with Decision 1232 is in fact behind schedule.
According to him, the Government has issued a plan for divestment at all State-owned enterprises, including Petrolimex. As such, the group’s plan for 2020-2021 will be the continuance of cutting State capital to 51 percent, he noted.
Also, at the meeting, Petrolimex forecast a drop in both revenue and profit this year due to the decline in demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The group targets to earn 122 trillion VND (5.3 million USD) in revenue, equivalent to 64 percent of that recorded in 2019. Pre-tax profit is expected to reach 1.57 trillion VND, equalling 28 percent of last year’s figure.
Petrolimex plans to sell 11.47 million cubic meters of petrol in 2020, equivalent to 83 percent of the selling output in 2019. Dividend payout ratio for the year is forecast at 12 percent.
General Director Thang said the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic had caused a sharp decline in oil consumption worldwide due to blockades and travel restrictions.
From January 1, the use of new marine fuels will comply with the provisions of the World Maritime Organisation (IMO), causing the price of new fuels to increase by 50 percent, making sea transport costs rise sharply in 2020 compared to 2019, Thang said.
He added that in 2020, the group focuses on the acceleration of the My Giang Power Center project to carry out trial operations in the fourth quarter of 2025.
The group will also develop a plan to reduce its holding in Petrolimex Insurance Joint Stock Company to 35.1 percent and successfully merging PGBank and HDBank.
“It is necessary for Petrolimex to adjust the business targets this year,” Ho Sy Hung, Deputy Chairman of the Vietnam’s Committee for State Capital Management told the function.
The Committee for State Capital Management will accompany and assist Petrolimex in carrying out the tasks of production, business and development investment in 2020, he stressed./.VNA
Ministry warns about online lending apps
HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Public Security has warned about the risk of black credit provided by online lending applications which could threaten social security.
Online lending apps provide trust-based loans in which the borrowers do not need mortgage assets. Transactions were conducted online via websites, online exchanges and apps installed on smartphones.
The borrowing and lending process through the apps was very easy, as people who want to borrow money only have to complete some simple registration procedures including downloading the app, filling in personal information including an account number to receive money, uploading a photo and identity cards, and allowing the app to access their personal contacts.
However, the ministry warned that many lending apps turned out to be a form of black credit with cut-throat interest rates, which might have unintended consequences and affect social security.
The ministry urged borrowers to study online lending providers together with contract terms carefully to avoid risks.
Việt Nam was developing a sandbox for financial technologies, including peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, which was critical to ensure fintech development remains on track.
There are around 40 companies providing P2P lending services in the country. —
Sóc Trăng exports jump 26% despite pandemic
MEKONG DELTA — The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Sóc Trăng’s exports in the first six months of the year increased by 26 per cent year-on-year to US$470 million.
Seafood accounted for $332 million, a 24.8 per cent increase, and rice for $97 million, 2.2 times higher.
Võ Văn Chiêu, director of the provincial Department of Industry and Trade, said seafood exports had been sustained despite the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to efforts to control it.
Võ Văn Phục, director of the Việt Nam Clean Fishery JSC, one of the biggest exporters in the province, said shrimp exports would increase by 50 per cent in July from the same period last year thanks to Việt Nam controlling the disease outbreak.
Businesses in Sóc Trăng have methodically invested, branded and built value chains, and so the province’s exports increased even when the export markets were plagued by difficulties.
The province has set this year’s export target of $900 million, $670 million from seafood.
To meet it, it encourages firms to expand markets, improve design and quality, and diversify products to meet various consumer demands. —
Hà Nội condominium market has recovery of sales in Q2
HÀ NỘI — The new launch of condominiums in the second quarter of this year (Q2) nearly tripled that of the previous quarter, showing recovery of sales activities, according to CBRE Việt Nam’s quarterly report on the Hà Nội market released on Tuesday at an online press conference.
In terms of segments, 88 per cent of units launched in Q2 were in the mid-end segment while the remainder were high-end products.
Sales momentum was relatively positive in Q2 compared to the previous quarter, with more than 50 per cent of units launched during the quarter having been absorbed.
In Q2, there were a total of 5,100 sold units, more than double that of the previous quarter. The sales picked up in Q2 thanks to the social distancing order removed.
Diversification in sales channels such as online channels combined with direct marketing via sales events has boosted sales during the quarter, according to CBRE.
Especially, applications in project management and online sales have been successfully developed by many companies. Those technology platforms help to introduce projects, deal with customers and carry out online sales process.
In addition, investors and property trading floors can also receive sales data and information analysis to build suitable sales and marketing strategy, Robert Vũ, CEO of batdongsan.com.vn, a popular property website in Việt Nam, said on Wednesday at a press conference releasing a report on the domestic property market in Q2.
Local buyers are the key focus of developers during the first half of the year as foreign sales have been disrupted due to the suspension of international flights.
The segment of property for foreigners buying or renting significantly slowed down due to the reduced number of foreigners travelling in Việt Nam and a significant amount of foreigners going home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nguyễn Hoài An, director of Hanoi Branch, CBRE Vietnam told Việt Nam News.
“However, in the Hà Nội market, there were many experts of foreign companies coming back to work in Việt Nam by charter flights. Therefore, the experts must rent serviced apartments and hotels, leading to occupancy rates in many serviced apartment projects increasing from the end of the second quarter.”
The hotel segment in Hà Nội was in a better situation, although it still struggles, she said.
“The prospects of this property market for foreign customers would depend on the ability to re-open international flights and borders between Việt Nam and other countries,” An said.
The CBRE also reported that the Hà Nội market had about 5,600 units launched in Q2, leading to a total new launch during the first half of around 7,200 units – down 65 per cent year on year (y-o-y).
The new supply in the first six months declined significantly compared to the same period of last year due to COVID-19 disruption, said CBRE Việt Nam.
Selling prices in the primary market in Q2 averaged US$1,379 per sq.m (net of VAT), up by 3 per cent y-o-y. While mid-end products from township developments see higher selling prices due to an increasing amount of amenities, landscape and infrastructure, this segment witnessed the highest y-o-y growth of 4 per cent among segments.
The level of new supply is expected to stay at around 18,000-20,000 units in 2020, lower than 30,000 units at annual average for many years, according to the CBRE.
Nguyễn Hoài An, director of Hanoi Branch, CBRE Vietnam said that: “The lower level of new supply this year allows sales to catch up quicker with the new launch which had remained at a high-level over the past five years.”
This year, total sold units might be lowered to around 15,000-17,000 units in Hà Nội due to modest sales performance in the first half of this year.
The primary pricing is forecast to remain flat in the second half of this year since new supply is heavily dominated by mid-end segment and higher competition in this segment making it harder to escalate selling prices.
According to batdongsan.com.vn, the number of searches for mini apartments (with an area of less than 45sq.m) at the end of Q2 increased by more than 200 per cent compared to February 2020.
This reflects the growing trend of more young people and families wishing to own affordable apartments. This is also a reason for investors to build studio apartments and mini apartments, according to this website. —
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