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Sugar sector voices concerns over Thai sugar’s evasion of trade remedies

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Farmers harvest sugarcane. The Vietnamese sugar and sugarcane sector voice concerns that Thai sugar would evade trade remedies after the Ministry of Industry and Trade imposed anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs on sugar imported from Thailand on February 9 – PHOTO: NAM BINH

HCMC – Despite efforts in recovering sugarcane farming areas and the material sugarcane price hike, the Vietnamese sugar and sugarcane sector worries that Thai sugar would evade trade remedies after the Ministry of Industry and Trade imposed anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs on sugar imported from Thailand on February 9.

The Vietnam Sugar and Sugarcane Association assessed that the volume of sugar imported into Vietnam remained large. At the end of 2020, apart from Thai sugar, the volume of sugar imported from Cambodia, Malaysia and Indonesia into Vietnam was higher than the usual volume.

“Malaysia is a country which does not produce sugar, while Indonesia and Cambodia import sugar. As such, this may be a sign of evasion of trade remedies of Thai sugar,” said Nguyen Thi Thu Hang, analyst at Vietcombank Securities.

In spite of the concern, a report released by Vietcombank Securities Company on February 17 indicated that after the ministry’s temporary imposition, the volume of raw sugar imported from Thailand is expected to decline sharply. Meanwhile, the prices of local sugar will increase, motivating farmers to farm sugarcane.

Hang said that as the ministry slapped anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs on Thai sugar at 33.88%, the price of Thai sugar would be equal to or higher than that of Vietnamese sugar, contributing to the increase in the consumption of local sugar.

Since the first working day after the Lunar New Year holiday, a series of sugar plants have announced a hike in the buying prices of sugarcane.

On February 20, the An Khe sugar plant in Quang Ngai Province raised the buying price of 10 CCS sugarcane by VND30,000 per ton, while KCP Vietnam on February 18 also revised the buying price of sugarcane up at VND1 million per ton of 10 CCS sugarcane.

Source: https://english.thesaigontimes.vn/80641/sugar-sector-voices-concerns-over-thai-sugar%e2%80%99s-evasion-of-trade-remedies.html

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Over 33,600 firms dissolve, suspend operations in Jan-Feb

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An employee is at work at a textile factory. The country saw over 33,600 firms leave the market or suspend their operations in the first two months of the year – PHOTO: VNA

HCMC – The country saw over 33,600 firms leave the market or suspend their operations in the first two months of the year, up 18.6% year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

Of the total, over 21,630 companies signed up to temporarily suspend operations, some 8,380 halted operations to complete dissolution procedures and over 3,590 were dissolved.

The number of newly-established firms in February dropped by 12.3% year-on-year at 8,040, while pledged capital surged by 85.6% at VND179.7 trillion. Besides, some 7,700 firms left the market in February, VietnamPlus news site reported.

Between January and February, some 18,130 companies were established, inching down 4% year-on-year, while the number of firms returning to the market, mainly active in the art, entertainment and education fields, and lodging and catering services, during the two-month period was 11,030, down 7.6% against the same period last year. However, the total registered capital increased by 12% to VND720.4 trillion.

Source: https://english.thesaigontimes.vn/80702/over-33600-firms-dissolve-suspend-operations-in-jan-feb.html

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Bank and steel stocks spur local market

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Maybank Kim Eng Securities employees monitor share prices. The VN-Index of the Hochiminh Stock Exchange expanded 0.26% on Friday, February 26 – PHOTO: THANH HOA

HCMC – Bank and steel stocks were the main driver of the local market, enabling the benchmark VN-Index of the Hochiminh Stock Exchange to expand today, February 26.

The main index rose 0.26%, or 3.04 points, to close the day at 1,168.47 points, with winning stocks outnumbering losers by 216 to 209. More than 554 million shares worth roughly VND14.87 trillion changed hands on the southern bourse, increasing 8.36% in volume and 11.38% in value compared with the previous session.

Bank stocks were among the best performers, with BID going up 1.5% to VND43,600, ACB up 2% to VND33,050, MBB up 1.3% to VND27,650, VIB up 3.3% to VND39,700 and VPB up 1% to VND40,000. TCB and TPB inched up approximately 0.5%.

Steel stocks were also the major contributors, with NKG, POM, TLH, VGS, VIS and DNY shooting up to the ceiling prices. Steelmaker HPG in the VN30 basket soared 3.3% to VND45,600.

Moreover, bank and steel stocks were the cash magnets. HPG took the lead in terms of liquidity with 40.93 million shares changing hands, followed by MBB with 22.35 million shares. HSG and STB came third with some 17.4 million shares traded each.

Some other large-cap stocks that gained ground included dairy giant VNM, property firm VIC, gas firm GAS and consumer goods producer MSN.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index added 1.23%, or 3.02 points, to end at 249.22 points, with gaining stocks outnumbering decliners by 100 to 94. There were more than 113 million shares worth VND1.9 trillion changing hands on the northern bourse.

In the HNX30 basket, investment and trading company TNG shot up to the ceiling price and real estate company NRC surged 7.2% to VND23,700. Stone processor VCS, construction firm VC3, pharmaceutical firm DP3 and housing firm NDN rose 1-2%.

Among petroleum and bank stocks, SHB, PVS and PVB closed at their reference prices, while NVB expanded 0.7% to VND14,700. Lender SHB led the northern market in terms of liquidity with 28.66 million shares changing hands, followed by petroleum stock PVS with more than 11.9 million shares.

Source: https://english.thesaigontimes.vn/80704/bank-and-steel-stocks-spur-local-market-.html

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Casinos want to serve Vietnamese at major tourist destinations on trial basis

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Businesses in Vietnam have proposed that casinos at major tourist destinations be allowed to serve Vietnamese citizens as a way to help such a service cope with difficulties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The proposal was submitted to the prime minister’s advisory council by the country’s casino business community on Thursday.

In the document, local casino businesses stated that the tourism industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic due to a sharp decrease in the number of foreign visitors.

To mitigate this problem, domestic tourism has been promoted.

However, local casinos have not benefited from these promotion plans because Vietnamese people are not allowed to enter these venues.

A circular of the Ministry of Finance previously allowed Vietnamese citizens to use services at local casinos on a trial basis, but no specific list of eligible casinos was issued.

Only two casinos in Phu Quoc, a tourist island off the southern province of Kien Giang, and Van Don, an island off the northern province of Quang Ninh, have been permitted to serve Vietnamese residents as part of the pilot program.

The trial began in January 2019 and would last for three years, before the finance ministry carries out a comprehensive review to make further decisions. 

The casino business community asked the government to consider allowing this entertainment service at other major tourist destinations, such as central Quang Nam Province and southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province among others.

Allowing more casinos to serve Vietnamese people will enable the trial to achieve a more objective result, as well as support local businesses in coping with challenges caused by the pandemic.

In accordance with Vietnamese law, casinos are only permitted to serve foreigners or overseas Vietnamese with foreign passports.

In the pilot program, Vietnamese people who wish to enter and gamble in a casino must be at least 21 years of age, and have full capacity for civil acts in accordance with the provisions of Vietnamese law.

Vietnamese punters are also expected to prove a regular income of VND10 million (US$430) or more per month to play at a casino.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/business/20210226/casinos-want-to-serve-vietnamese-atmajor-tourist-destinations-on-trial-basis/59494.html

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