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Vinalines to make an IPO in Q1



HÀ NỘI (Biz Hub) — The Việt Nam National Shipping Lines will make an initial public offering (IPO) in Q1 of 2016, Vũ Anh Minh, director of the Ministry of Transport’s enterprise management department said.

The State-run company, better known as Vinalines, built an equitisation plan last year, following which the State will retain a stake of 36 per cent in it in the future.

Containers are loaded onto a vessel at the nothern Hải Phòng Port. The government has asked Vinalines to reduce its stake in this port to 20 per cent. -- Photo

Containers are loaded onto a vessel at the nothern Hải Phòng Port. The government has asked Vinalines to reduce its stake in this port to 20 per cent. — Photo

Minh said that before the company changes into a joint stock firm, its debts will be reduced to VNĐ3.2 trillion (US$142.2 million). This value is expected to be further lowered to VNĐ1.8 trillion by the end of 2016.

Vinalines Chairman Lê Anh Sơn said the company’s debts are currently about VNĐ6.2 trillion, down 46 per cent from the VNĐ11.4 trillion recorded on December 31, 2013, before the company began to be restructured.

Vinalines faced an extremely tough time from 2010 to 2015, witnessing serious business declines in the face of economic turmoil. Its investment mistakes and mismanagement of funds even led to a debt value that more than quadrupled its charter capital in late 2010.

Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng issued a decision in February 2013 adopting comprehensive reorganisation of the company to help it cope with the situation. The restructuring activities have focussed on marine transport, seaport exploitation and maritime services for the last three years.

“We defined that debt settlement is not only a goal of the restructuring scheme, but also a matter deciding the survival of our company in the future,” Sơn said.

Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyễn Văn Công said the company has overcome hard times, but it must seek every necessary solution to reach production and business targets, as the marine transport sector is expected to continue to face utmost difficulties this year before a possible rally next year.

Vinalines Acting General Director Nguyễn Cảnh Tĩnh said that last year was the first year that the company saw profits during the restructuring period, and this was meaningful to a firm facing financial problems and an ailing marine transport market.

Sơn told Giao thông, a newspaper published by the transport ministry last month, that the company earned a profit of about VNĐ40 billion with a total revenue of more than VNĐ18.4 trillion in 2015.

Biz Hub reported last month that the company planned to obtain a profit of at least VNĐ126 billion, with a revenue growing by three per cent year-on-year at VNĐ19 trillion in 2016.

Member enterprises

Vinalines officials said the company has completed equitising 12 member enterprises following the restructuring scheme. Five of its ports, including Nghệ Tĩnh, Cần Thơ, Năm Căn, and Cam Ranh, in addition to Sài Gòn, were privatised last year alone.

Cam Ranh’s shares began to be traded on the stock market last year, along with shares of Hải Phòng and Nha Trang, two previously privatised ports of Vinalines.

Sơn said that contrary to the situation of marine transport in the country, port operations brought about the highest business results ever for Vinalines in 2015. Its ports obtained a combined profit of VNĐ800 billion, with Hải Phòng and Sài Gòn alone earning VNĐ600 billion last year.

He said, as the government has asked Vinalines to reduce its stakes in Hải Phòng and Sài Gòn ports to 20 per cent, and continue to divest from smaller ports, Vinalines will urgently have to change its business structure.

This means that the company must understand how to improve the marine transport business keeping in mind that oceangoing freights have sharply declined and competition is getting stiffer following Việt Nam’s deeper integration into the global economy.

“This is a very big issue, which will fundamentally change development strategies of Vinalines, and we must be prepared for that now,” said Sơn.

“I suppose that in the near future, the company will concentrate on building plans to develop a new fleet of vessels so that we can enhance our competition capacity while transportation service supplies exceed demand,” he said.

According to Sơn, as of the end of last year, Vinalines divested from 37 enterprises, dissolved seven businesses and let three companies fail. It gained more than VNĐ551 billion from these activities.

Vinalines will continue to divest from 15 other businesses this year, Minh from the transport ministry said, without naming them. — VNS


National Wheelchair Tennis Championships to start in Hà Nội



The Việt Nam Tennis Federation gave wheelchairs to athletes with disabilities in HCM City to prepare for the National Wheelchair Tennis Championships. — Photo courtesy of VTF

HÀ NỘI — The National Wheelchair Tennis Championships takes place in Hà Nội on December 1.

Independent participants as well as players from units and member clubs of the Việt Nam Tennis Federation (VTF) will take part in the event.

Athletes will compete in four events, men’s and women’s singles and men’s and women’s doubles.

This is the first time the VTF has cooperated with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to organise the Vietnamese national wheelchair tennis event.

The tournament will apply the wheelchair tennis rules issued by the International Tennis Federation. The only difference between wheelchair tennis and regular tennis is that the ball can bounce off the court twice. The second bounce off the court is allowed outside the touch-line.

This event aims to create a useful playground, helping athletes with disabilities have the opportunity to gain experience, hone competitive skills and accumulate points.

In addition to trophies and bonuses, winners will have the opportunity to gain bonus points, including 60 points for the first place, 40 points for second place and 20 points for third place.

Following this event, the best athletes will also be selected to the national wheelchair tennis team to prepare for the ASEAN Para Games which will take place on June 3-9, 2023 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Wheelchair tennis is widely played in many countries around the world. In addition to competing in Grand Slam tournaments, wheelchair tennis is also one of the sports competed at the summer Olympics for the disabled.

Wheelchair tennis is no longer a strange sport for Vietnamese athletes with disabilities. However, until now, most of the disabled athletes who are passionate about this sport only focus on small group activities.

With the spirit of social responsibility and the desire to create more opportunities to participate in sports activities and affirm the personal efforts of people with disabilities, the VTF with the support from the ITF gave 10 wheelchairs to athletes with disabilities in Thái Nguyên City and HCM City. VNS


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The most technologically advanced World Cup ever



Minh Nguyễn

Minh Nguyễn

This year’s World Cup has been known for several unique traits that have never occurred before. For starters, it is in winter instead of the traditional summer. It is also the most expensive World Cup ever, with a estimated bill of around US$220 billion, the ban of alcohol and more. However, not everything about the tournament this year is controversial. It has introduced to us some of the most advanced technology the sport has ever seen. So I thought I’d use the opportunity to get technical! 

The Al Rihla ball. Photo courtesy of Adidas

 The Al Rihla ball

The 2022 World Cup’s ball is absolutely unique. Its leather has an Inertial Measurement Unit sensor which can detect the exact moment the ball is hit, without negatively affecting the performance. It is utilised with the 12 cameras placed in various places across the stadium in order to provide all the necessary info to the referees and managers. Indeed, the data not only helps the officials, but also aids the coaches on their players as well as the opponents.

Semi-automated offside

Normally with the use of VAR, the video team still has to spend a little time re-watching the footage so as to determine if the play has been offside or not. Nevertheless, the aforementioned Al Rihla ball as well as the camera system will alert the VAR team automatically about the offside decision, which will allow the decisions to be made more quickly and precisely. This system has been successfully tested at some of the previous FIFA tournaments, including the Arab Cup and the Club World Cup, both in 2021. However, this technology still sparked some controversies in some of the matches so far, including the first disallowed goal from Ecuador in the opening match.


How the semi-automated offside is portrayed in 3D

Better experience for fans

FIFA has introduced a mobile app which enables fans to track every single player’s statistics in the tournament. This is very convenient for us as we don’t have to search for a different website to check our favorite players. Moreover, we can see these numbers anywhere as we always bring our smartphones along.

Broadcasting has also become more and more advanced through the years, as the number of TV channels and websites that offer us World Cup experiences have increased by a large number compared to the previous tournaments. Additionally, the quality of the broadcast has also improved a lot, with 4K being the norm these days.

Enhanced security for fans at the stadium

Safety for supporters has always been a great concern for every major tournament. With the aim of guaranteeing this issue, the board has installed an estimated 15,000 cameras with facial recognition in order to identify any wrongdoers, as well as to prevent terrorism, which has been a concern for a long time in the Middle East.

So there you have it. The World Cup organisation has so far raised a few eyebrows to say the least. But one thing’s for sure, it is the most high-tech tournament the game has ever seen. VNS



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Star basketball player on personal motivation to learn Vietnamese



Tim Waale – the captain of professional basketball club Saigon Heat – recently discussed his motivation to learn Vietnamese on his Instagram account.

Waale, also known as Dinh Khai Tam, answered a fan’s question about why he was unable to speak Vietnamese fluently despite growing up in Vietnam.

He has a Vietnamese mother and a Danish father. He lived in Vietnam before relocating to Denmark when he was in high school.

“I went to international schools when I was a kid and only spoke English,” Waale explained.

“I also talked to my parents in English at home.

“My mother tried to teach me Vietnamese, but I was too lazy to learn.”

The 24-year-old player said he later regretted it when he was unable to communicate with his grandparents when visiting them in northern Thai Nguyen Province during the Lunar New Year holiday.

“Even though I was never able to talk to my grandmother again after she passed away, I was determined to learn Vietnamese,” he said.

Tim Waale shares his motivation to learn Vietnamese on his Instagram account. Photo: VBA

Tim Waale shares his motivation to learn Vietnamese on his Instagram account. Photo: VBA

Tuan Anh, the fan who asked Waale the question, thanked the player for his answer, saying that it is never too late to learn something.

“I really hope that you will be in the Vietnamese national basketball team one day. Good luck, Tim.”

Another fan said he will communicate with Waale in Vietnamese more often to help him practice.

Waale has participated in the VBA pro basketball league since its first season in 2016.

The 1.93-meter-tall player and other members of Saigon Heat won the championship title in three consecutive seasons in 2019, 2020, and 2022.

He is widely considered one of the best athletes in the league and won the Block of the Year title at the VBA 2022.

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