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Retired deputy minister becomes bank president



VietBank’s president has unexpectedly resigned and his position has been transferred to a former government official.

Retired deputy minister becomes bank president

VietBank’s chair of the board of directors Bui Xuan Khu

VietBank has announced that Duong Ngoc Hoa resigned from the post of chair of the board of directors on February 23 and the office has been taken by Bui Xuan Khu, who was Deputy Minister of Industry Trade.

Khu became a member of the bank’s board of directors in 2011 after he retired. Later, he acted as deputy chair of the board of directors until he was appointed president of the bank.

Khu is the next former high-ranking official to become a bank president. Le Thi Bang Tam, former Deputy Minister of Finance, is now president of HDBank and president of Vinamilk.

Tam joined Vinamilk in 2013 as an independent member of the board of directors. She has been president of the nation’s leading dairy producer since 2015 and president of HDBank since 2010. She is also a senior advisor to some foreign financial institutions.

A lot of former government officials became businessmen after their retirement. Tran Xuan Gia, former Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Xuan Gia, became the president of ACB in 2008-2012. Gia, together with a lot of former senior managers of the bank, including Ly Xuan Hai, Le Vu Ky and Trinh Kim Quang, were investigated in a case related to Nguyen Duc Kien, or ‘Mogul Kien’.

Kieu Huu Dung, former director of the Banks and Non-bank Credit Institutions Department, served as president of Sacombank in 2014-2017. He later became president of ACB Securities and president of Sacombank Securities.

The other officials included Pham Viet Muon, who was Vice Chairman of the Government Office, Cao Sy Kiem, former Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) and Truong Van Phuoc, former head of SBV’s Foreign Exchange Management Department.

Former Deputy Minister Bui Xuan Khu, who joined VietBank in 2011, also has a lot of business experience as he was general director of the Vietnam Textile and Garment Corporation (Vinatex), the largest garment producer in Vietnam, general director of Viet Tien Garment and deputy president of the Global Petroleum Investment JSC.

In mid-2019, VietBank put VBB shares into transactions on the bourse.

VietBank was established in December 2006 as a rural bank with charter capital of VND200 billion. Its founding shareholders have relations with Hoa Lam Group, ACB and Dieu Hien Company. The bank now has charter capital of VND4.19 trillion after five capital increases.

ACB has divested from VietBank, while Dieu Hien is no longer mentioned in documents and information about the bank. The shareholders from Hoa Lam Group still maintain their stake with Duong Ngoc Hoa as the representative. Duong Nhat Nguyen is now deputy chair of the bank. 

V. Ha



High logistic costs hinder Delta agriculture exports




High cost of air transport and the inability to preserve fresh produce for a long time are among the logistic challenges that the Mekong Delta is facing. – Photo

MEKONG DELTA – Agriculture exports from the Mekong Delta are facing logistical challenges, affecting their competitiveness overseas.

Đồng Văn Thanh, chairman of Hậu Giang Province People’s Committee, said the Mekong Delta exports millions of tonnes of agriculture products every year but the region is facing many logistical choke-points.

The region is lacking key logistics hubs and storage areas for empty containers and products at ports. Goods have to be transported through many areas before reaching HCM City for export, which increases the cost.

Ngô Tường Vy, deputy director of Chánh Thu Fruit Export and Import Co. Ltd in Bến Tre Province, said that the cost of air transport of fresh fruits to the US and European markets have increased greatly over the years.

For example, the cost for air shipping fresh fruits to the US used to be around US$3.5 per kilo a few years ago, but now has risen to $6 per kilo.

This is affecting their competitiveness overseas and reducing the amount of fruit shipped there.

However, since preservation technology for many fruit products is not good enough, they have to rely on air transport.

The cost of ocean transport of fruit is 15 times cheaper than air, so better preservation technology to maintain quality on longer container trips is important, she said.

Phạm Tiến Hoài, general director of Hanh Nguyen Logistics, said that the logistics costs of Việt Nam’s agricultural products are high, usually accounting for around 30 per cent of their final prices, so they struggle to compete with goods from other suppliers such as China, Thailand and Indonesia.

Võ Thanh Phong, general director of Hậu Giang Maritime Service Co.Ltd , said the Government needs to continue its effort to improve and enlarge waterways in the Mekong Delta so that large vessels can easily travel through different regions, reducing transport time and costs.

Lê Tiến Châu, provincial party secretary of Hậu Giang, said that for 2021 – 2026 the province will invest around VNĐ18 trillion ($777.99 million) to improve traffic infrastructure and region connectivity.

Every year the Mekong Delta accounts for 90 per cent of the country’s rice exports, and 70 per cent of fruit exports. –


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Danang suspends BRT project due to its ineffectiveness



A BRT bus is seen at a bus station in Hanoi. The government of Danang City has decided to suspend its BRT project as the investment in the project has yet to bring about social advantages for the coastal central city – PHOTO: TPO

HCMC – The government of Danang City has decided to suspend its bus rapid transit (BRT) project as the investment in the project has yet to bring about social advantages for the coastal central city.

Huynh Anh Vu, deputy director of the Danang City Management Board of Prioritized Infrastructure Investment Projects, which is the project’s developer and operator, confirmed that the management board had reached a consensus with the World Bank, which serves as the lender of the project, on its suspension.

Instead, the management board will focus on completing works related to the development of subsidized bus routes in the city, Vu said, as reported by Lao Dong newspaper.

The decision is considered as the right move as the city’s transport infrastructure system still remains inadequate and measures taken to encourage the use of public means of transport among local residents have not proved effective.

The move was strongly backed by the locals and some of them cited the examples of other localities where trillions of dong were poured into BRT projects but they had failed to address traffic congestion and caused losses to the State budget.

In 2013, the Government approved a master project to develop Danang sustainably with five components: improving the rainwater and drainage system, piloting the BRT system, developing key urban roads, enhancing the capacity and supporting the execution of projects and works transferred from prioritized infrastructure investment projects.

The master project was expected to be completed in June this year, but it has been 84% complete to date with US$185 million spent. Specifically, the BRT project has been 33% complete, while the remaining components have basically been finalized.


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Some coastal hotels report full occupancy as tourists are on the rise



Tourists play outdoor games at a resort. Many hotels in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province have reported full occupancy as the number of tourists is on the rise – PHOTO: LDO

HCMC – Many hotels in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province have reported full occupancy as the number of tourists is on the rise, though the holidays of April 30 and May 1 are still a while away, signaling good news for the tourism sector.

Nguyen Van Tuan, manager of Long Hai Hotel in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, told Lao Dong Online that over the past one year, the hotel saw few guests and its highest occupancy rate at a mere 20%. However, for some days last week, the number of tourists who booked rooms at the hotel surged, with the occupancy rate at 90%.

For April 17 and 18, the hotel is fully booked, and it is the first time since the coronavirus pandemic that the hotel is seeing some 100 rooms in total fully booked, Tuan said, adding that the hotel was fully booked three weeks ago for the Reunification Day, April 30.

Last weekend, many guests fully booked rooms at Vietsovpetro Ho Tram, said a representative of the resort.

Many hotels at sea tourist destinations near HCMC such as Ho Tram, Long Hai, Vung Tau and Mui Ne are seeing the number of guests soar on weekends.

Do Van Thuc, deputy director of Dat Viet Tour, said that the firm had received rising tour bookings on weekends.

Recently, Dat Viet Tour has been seeing an average 1,500 guests book weekend tours to the sea each week, some 200 kilometers from HCMC, he said.

Apart from this, since March, when the coronavirus outbreak was brought under control in Vietnam, Alo Limo, a transport firm, has become busier on weekends, said Le Gia Thanh Tam, a representative of Alo Limo.

Over the past few weeks, each week has seen some 10-15 groups of tourists book limousines for their trips, mainly to Dalat, Phan Thiet and Vung Tau, Tam said.


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