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Vietnam’s record-low GDP growth dampens stock market

Investors follow stock information at Maybank Kim Eng Securities Company. The VN-index on the southern bourse lost as much as 22.62 points today, June 29 – PHOTO: THANH HOA

HCMC – Gloomy trade in the local stock market, with the VN-Index of the Hochiminh Stock Exchange losing over 20 points at the close, was attributed to the downbeat sentiment upon news that Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the first half posted the lowest growth over the past decade.

The country’s GDP in the first half of the year expanded by 1.81% compared to the year-ago period, the General Statistics Office (GSO) said in a statement today, June 29.

GSO said that the rapid spread of the coronavirus pandemic has negatively affected all socioeconomic aspects of Vietnam as well as other countries and regions in the six-month period.

Notably, the local economy fully felt the negative impact of Covid-19 in the second quarter of this year, with the GDP rising a mere 0.36%, also the lowest growth rate since 2011, as the Government adopted drastic social-distancing measures in an attempt to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Further, the second coronavirus wave currently spreading in many countries has discouraged investors in the local stock market. Strong selling pressure appearing in the morning picked up steam toward the end of the session and caused hundreds of stocks to tank.

At close, the main index on the southern bourse lost as much as 22.62 points, or 2.65% against last Friday to 829.36, with 358 losers and only 53 winners. Trading volume and value both inched up 29% at 389.64 million shares worth over VND5.5 trillion. Over 54 million shares were transacted in block deals valued at some VND1.1 trillion, including nearly 28 million shares worth some VND480 billion of lender EIB.

Apart from the huge block deals, EIB bucked the market downward trend and closed up 1.4% to its ceiling price at VND18,000 per share. The lender made gain just one day ahead of its annual shareholder meeting scheduled for tomorrow, June 30.

Last week, EIB, or Eximbank, appointed vice chairman Yasuhiro Saitoh as its new chairman on June 25, replacing Cao Xuan Ninh following his resignation over personal reasons.

In addition to EIB, only lender CTD in the VN30 basket ended in positive territory, adding 4.79% to VND70,000.

The remaining 28 stocks in the basket closed in the red, including other lenders VCB, TCB, BID.

Also, heavyweights such as dairy firm VNM and housing developer VIC were main drags to the benchmark index.

On the northern market, the HNX-Index dropped 3.13 points, or 2.76% to 110.32.



$32.5million solar power farm opens in Ninh Thuận

Financed by LICOGI 16 Joint Stock Co, the 35MWp Nhơn Hải-Ninh Thuận solar farm covers 42ha in Nhơn Hải District. — VNA/ Photo Công Thứ

NINH THUẬN — A new solar farm valued at VNĐ750 million (about US$32.5 million) was officially opened for operation in the south-central province of Ninh Thuận on Thursday.

Financed by LICOGI 16 Joint Stock Co, the 35MWp Nhơn Hải-Ninh Thuận solar farm covers 42ha in Nhơn Hải District. 

LICOGI 16 General Director Tăng Quốc Thuộc said the farm will contribute 59 million kWh per year to the national grid, raking in about VNĐ136 billion annually and creating stable jobs.

During the opening ceremony, vice chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Lê Văn Bình praised the investor’s efforts to ensure the project, the first-ever in Ninh Hải District, remained on schedule despite many challenges. 

He also asked departments, sectors, and authorities in the district to create optimal conditions for the company to invest in related fields, contributing to local socio-economic development.

Blessed with abundant sunshine and wind all year round, Ninh Thuận has given priority to wind and solar power, liquefied natural gas, and pumped-storage hydroelectricity projects, in a bid to become the country’s renewable energy hub.

It is now home to 23 operational solar power projects with a combined capacity of about 1,403MWp. By late 2020, eight more projects will have been put into operation, raising total capacity to 2,123MWp and generating approximately 2.5 billion kWh. —


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Corporate bonds increasingly attractive to investors due to high yield

A person holds packets of Vietnamese banknotes. Corporate bonds have attracted a huge cash flow from other investment channels, including depositors – PHOTO: THANH HOA

HCMC – Corporate bonds have attracted a huge cash flow from other investment channels, including depositors, even though the Ministry of Finance has repeatedly advised investors to exercise caution before purchasing these bonds.

Customers can earn big returns on corporate bonds, 0.8 to 1.7 percentage points higher than those on savings, according to a report released by SSI Securities Corporation.

Bonds worth some VND159 trillion have been issued by enterprises since the beginning of the year, soaring by 50% year-on-year.

Since early 2020, individual investors have directly bought corporate bonds worth some VND22.7 trillion on the primary market, equivalent to 15% of the total issued bonds.

As of March 31, non-credit institutions and individuals were holding bonds worth some VND385 trillion.

Corporate bonds worth VND91.6 trillion were issued through private placement over the first five months of 2020, up 15% year-on-year, according to the Hanoi Stock Exchange.

During the five-month period, property firms issued bonds to ramp up their capital, while retail investors continued the trend of purchasing corporate bonds. Many securities firms and commercial banks were rushing to distribute corporate bonds to individual investors, Nguoi Lao Dong Online reported.

As such, the Ministry of Finance has recommended that bond issuers ensure their repayment capacity, while advising investors, mainly individuals, to seek out all information on bond issuers and fully assess risks before purchasing bonds.


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Vietnam’s labour export market expected to recover soon

Vietnam’s labour export activities are showing signs of recovery from COVID-19.

Vietnamese labourers at Noi Bai International Airport heading to South Korea before the COVID-19. — Photo Department of Overseas Labour

Vietnamese labourers who have been working in Malaysia have been told they can return to work, but not until the end of August.

And moves are being made to allow workers to return to both South Korea and Taiwan in the near future.

The Department of Overseas Labour under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) has said the Malaysian Government officially announced to end the valid restricted movement order.

In a recent meeting, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc assigned the ministry make arrangements to send labourers to countries which are safe and in need of workers.

Nguyen Gia Liem, the department’s deputy director, said the three markets received more than 90 per cent of the total of Vietnamese labourers in foreign countries.

Employers in South Korea and Taiwan wanted Vietnamese labourers to come back to resume their production as soon as possible. The Human Resource Development Services of Korea last month organised the Korean language proficiency tests in Ha Noi, HCM City and Da Nang, showing that this market would be soon re-openned.

Liem said the labour demand in Japan was also very high, especially in sectors of agriculture, taking care of the elderly and food processing. The two countries have been under negotiations to resume their labour market hopefully by the end of this month or the beginning of August.

Pham Do Nhat Tan, vice chairman of Viet Nam Association of Manpower Supply (VAMAS), said the labour export market has seen signs of recovery. It was expected that Japan would soon re-open. Local firms operating in the sector should prepare workers to meet the demand as soon as the country resume the market.

In addition, the Government should negotiate with Japan to have flexible solutions to bring workers to safe areas without COVID-19, he said.

In mid-June, Hoang Long CMS Company brought 29 workers to Taiwan following an order of Kymco Group for its electronic motorbike assembly factory.

Nghiem Quoc Hung, the company’s chairman cum general director, said labourers were provided with accommodation and isolated for 14 days before starting work.

Vu Thanh Hai, director of international investment and service company, Interserco, also said they have started to complete procedures for labourers to move to Taiwan this month. Workers in production sectors would be given priorities. Some Taiwanese companies have already arranged quarantine areas for Vietnamese labourers.

Viet Nam aims to send 130,000 labourers to work overseas this year. However, the country has so far only sent 33,500 people to foreign markets in the first half of the year due to the pandemic, reducing 40 per cent from the same period last year. In May only, local businesses sent just 126 workers abroad.

In the last six months, more than 5,000 Vietnamese labourers in overseas markets returned home because of COVID-19. — VNS


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