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Travel firms impatient because of slow resumption of international flights



International commercial air routes were reopened about a month ago under a Prime Ministerial decision.

But only three flight routes had started until the official decision on temporarily stopping international flights was made recently.

Travel firms impatient because of slow resumption of international flights

Nguyen Van Kien from Thai Binh province felt lucky when booking an air ticket from Seoul to HCM City with departure slated for October 7. However, he had to miss the wedding of his younger brother organized on October 18 because of the decision to temporarily stop international flights to Vietnam.

Prior to that, a flight carrying passengers to Vietnam on September 30 caused confusion at Tan Son Nhat Airport in HCM City because of a disagreement on quarantine plans in the city.

This led to the official decision on temporarily stopping inbound international flights while waiting for standard procedures on quarantine.

Soon after the government agreed on reopening international air routes on September 15, Vietnam Airlines and Vietjet, the air carriers appointed to implement flights on the routes, got ready to resume flights.

On September 19, the first routine international flight from HCM City to Japan occurred. On September 25, the first flight carrying passengers from South Korea to Vietnam was provided, and the next flight was organized on September 30.

As such, only two flights with nearly 300 passengers from South Korea have been provided since the government decided to reopen international air routes.

In early September, when the proposal on reopening international air routes was put into discussion, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) and relevant ministries should have met and come to an agreement on national epidemic prevention control.

Pham Trung Luong, former deputy director of the Tourism Research Institute, said in early September, when the proposal on reopening international air routes was put into discussion, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) and relevant ministries should have met and come to an agreement on national epidemic prevention control.

“But now we are still busy dealing with the problem and cannot build a procedure for application, which shows a lack of cooperation among involved parties,” Luong said.

The reason behind the tardiness, according to the expert, is also due to the lack of transparency.

“We still don’t have a standard process for state management agencies, as well as commitments from hotel owners to receive passengers in quarantine,” Luong said.

Luong Hoai Nam, an aviation expert, thinks that Vietnam needs to negotiate with countries that have controlled Covid-19 to create safe ‘travel bubbles’ as soon as possible with very strict, clear and transparent principles.

The resumption of international air routes and tourism needs to be substantial, while the flight frequency should be high enough and the number of passengers large enough to be efficient.

Nam went on to say that it is necessary to be cautious when resuming international flights and reopening the tourism market, but this doesn’t mean ‘do nothing’.

Opportunities may be missed

Though problems still exist, Thailand, the big rival of Vietnam in attracting foreign travelers in the region, has grabbed opportunities to provide tours with a 14-day quarantine.

Phuket has been allowed to receive international travelers under a safe and closed procedure. Travelers can stay in Phuket for at least 30 days after the 14-day quarantine period at resorts,

Meanwhile, Singapore and Hong Kong, two major aviation centers in Asia, have reached an agreement on the establishment of the first safe tourism corridor in the region. Under the agreement, people traveling between Singapore and Hong Kong won’t have to be isolated if they can show certificates that they tested negative for SARS-CoV-2.

Vietnam could follow Thailand or Singapore’s way to create a safe ‘travel bubble’, Nam said.

These are bilateral or multilateral agreements which clearly define the responsibility and the documents that travelers must have to ensure safety.

Only when the opening of international air routes is based on such detailed agreements will confidence about safe travel return, he said.

Nguyen Duc Chi, former deputy head of the Travel Division of the HCM City Tourism Department, suggested that airlines collect in advance the fees passengers have to pay in Vietnam, such as fees on testing, accommodations and in-land transporation.

After fulfilling testing procedures and making payment for compulsory fees, they will then be allowed to buy air tickets.

The fee collection in advance will help avoid unexpected events. If passengers pay fees at the airport and choose a hotel, they may change their mind later at the airport, thus causing problems. 

Ngoc Ha



TTC Sugar to issue $30 million of unsecured bonds



TTC Sugar will sell VNĐ700 billion (US$ 3 million) of unsecured bonds to the public next quarter. — Photo courtesy of the firm

HÀ NÔI — TTC Sugar has announced it will offer VNĐ700 billion (US$30 million) worth of unsecured bonds up for public auction.

The firm said the interest rate of the bonds in the first year would be 10 per cent in the first four quarters then a floating interest rate after that.

The firm expects to release the bonds in the first quarter next year with the minimum order for individual investors VNĐ20 billion and institutional investors VNĐ250 billion.

It said the non-convertible bonds were not guaranteed by assets in the maximum term of three years and were issued to pay for sugar purchase contracts in the first quarter of 2021

Sugar purchase contracts included those with Thành Thành Công Gia Lai company worth VNĐ288.4 billion, Biên Hòa – Ninh Hòa Sugar Company worth VNĐ205.8 billion and Biên Hòa Đồng Nai TTC Sugar Company worth VNĐ205.8 billion.

As of September 30, TTC Sugar had total capital of more than VNĐ18.4 trillion, total financial debt of VNĐ8.6 trillion, in which bond loans reached nearly VNĐ1.3 trillion. In addition, the firm has nearly VNĐ153 billion of convertible bonds.

The shares of TTC Sugar with the sticker SBT gained 2.5 per cent to reach VNDD18,500 on the HCM City Stock Exchange (HoSE) yesterday —


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VN-Index back in the green after single red session



VN-Index back in the green after single red session

An investor looks at stock prices on a screen at a brokerage in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.

The VN-Index shrugged off a single-session loss, gaining 0.58 percent to close at 1,008.87 points Tuesday, with gains driven by large cap stocks

The Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE), on which the VN-Index is based, saw a fairly balanced session with 221 stocks gaining and 199 losing. Out of these, 15 stocks hit their ceiling prices, the highest they could go in a trading session.

Total trading volume rose marginally over the previous session, to VND11.68 trillion ($504.2 million), of which half went towards the VN30, a basket of the market’s largest capped stocks.

The VN30-Index for this basket surged 1.08 percent, significantly outperforming the general market, with 18 gaining tickers and seven losing.

Topping gains were stocks in the private banking sector. STB of Sacombank soared 5.5 percent, VPB of VPBank 4.1 percent, TCB of Techcombank 1.7 perent, HDB of HDBank 1.4 percent, while EIB of Eximbank shed 0.3 percent.

Results in the public banking sector, however, were mixed. MBB of mid-sized Military Bank rose 2.5 percent, while of Vietnam’s three biggest lenders by assets, CTG of VietinBank was up 1.2 percent, BID of BIDV kept its opening price, while VCB of Vietcombank was the worst performer on the VN30, down 1.1 percent.

Other major gainers this session included TCH of truck dealer Hoang Huy Group, up 5.4 percent, SBT of agricultural exporter TTC-Sugar, up 2.5 percent, VNM of dairy giant Vinamilk, with 1.4 percent, and MSN of food conglomerate Masan Group, with 1.2 percent.

VIC of private conglomerate Vingroup, HoSE’s biggest cap, rose 1.1 percent, while VHM of its real estate arm Vinhomes was up 0.8 percent, and VRE of retail arm Vincom Retail added 0.2 percent.

In oil and gas, GAS of energy giant PetroVietnam Gas and POW of electricity generator PetroVietnam Power both kept their opening prices, while PLX of gasoline distributor Petrolimex shed 0.4 percent.

In the other direction, the biggest losers included ROS of construction firm FLC Faros, down 0.9 percent, KDH of real estate developer Khang Dien House, down 0.7 percent, and FPT of IT services firm FPT, with 0.4 percent.

The HNX-Index for the Hanoi Stock Exchange, home to mid- and small-caps, climbed 0.83 percent, but the UPCoM-Index for the Unlisted Companies Market jumped 1.36 percent.

Foreign investors continued to be net buyers to the tune of nearly VND420 billion on all three bourses, with buying pressure mostly on VNM of Vinamilk, and the FUEVFVND, an exchange-traded fund replicating the performance of stocks on the VN Diamond Index, a bag of 14 stocks, most of which are blue chips.


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Golden Brand Awards launched in HCMC



The launch ceremony of the HCMC Golden Brand Awards held at the headquarters of The Saigon Times Group on December 1 – PHOTO: THANH HOA

HCMC – The HCMC Department of Industry and Trade and The Saigon Times Group jointly launched the HCMC Golden Brand Awards this morning, December 1, aimed at honoring businesses in the city for their efforts in building their brands.

Addressing the launch ceremony, Bui Ta Hoang Vu, director of the HCMC Department of Industry and Trade, said HCMC is the country’s economic hub where many businesses have been established and running.

The HCMC Golden Brand Awards is expected to help raise the awareness of businesses operating in the city over the importance of building their brands and encourage them to accelerate innovation, creativity and development, thus helping them improve their competitive capacity in local and international markets.

The organizers will give priority to businesses active in four key industries and nine major services of the city. Selection will be based on their efficiency in building their brands, innovation, creativity, the quality and safety of their products and their corporate social responsibility.

“The success of an enterprise relies not only on the popularity of its brand but also on its efficient business model. The assessment over the health of a brand is no longer based mainly on communication or marketing strategies but on the brand platform, which is the foundation that helps businesses develop sustainably and maintain their competitiveness in the long term,” said Tran Minh Hung, editor-in-chief of The Saigon Times Group.

According to Nguyen Dong Phuong, deputy director of the HCMC Department of Industry and Trade, businesses eligible for the awards are those that comply with all the prevailing regulations on production and trade. They must be based in HCMC and must not commit copyright infringement or trade fraud. Their brand should have been developed for at least two years.

The jury will comprise experts in building brands. The award winners will be announced in January 2021.

Registrations can be submitted to The Saigon Times Group, 35 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, Nguyen Thai Binh Ward, District 1, HCMC, or the HCMC Department of Industry and Trade, 136 Hai Ba Trung Street, Ward 6, District 3, HCMC.

The registration form can be downloaded from


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