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BUSINESS IN BRIEF 24/3   2010-03-24 - VietNamNet/VNA

Vietnam emerges as top destination for Spanish investors


Trade potential between Vietnam and Spain is great and Spanish businesses are considering Vietnam a top priority for their investment, the Spanish Ambassador to Vietnam affirmed.


Ambassador Fernado Curcio Ruigomez delivered these remarks at a meeting with Vietnamese and Spanish businesses held in Hanoi on March 23.


The Ambassador said that more and more Spanish businesses are interested in Vietnam’s market, referring to big names such as Elecnor, Befesa, Alstom and ALG that have joined others on a working visit to the country at this time.


At the meeting, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Vice President Hoang Van Dung affirmed that the Vietnamese government welcomes Spanish businesses to invest in large projects in Vietnam, especially in infrastructure, petroleum, clean energy, tourism and foodstuff processing.


According to the VCCI, Vietnam-Spain trade has grown by 20 percent annually in recent years and Vietnam has a registered trade surplus. In 2009, two-way trade turnover reached 1.1 billion USD.


Spain had, by the end of last year, 16 investment projects in Vietnam, with a combined registered capital of over 20 million USD, ranking 55th on the list of 89 foreign countries and territories investing in Vietnam.


Piaggo introduces manlier scooter


Piaggio Vietnam has launched a new scooter for men, the Vespa S, marking its second model since operations began last year.


The new model comes in four basic colours and will cost around 67.5 million VND (3,552 USD).


Piaggo Vietnam Factory, locating in the northern province of Vinh Phu, has a total investment of 30 million USD.


The factory is expected to produce 100,000 units a year at maximum capacity.


Economic data fails to lift shares


Despite the release of positive economic data, the VN-Index continued its down-ward trend on March 23, losing another 0.99 percent to end the day at 506.53.


Over 64 percent of codes on the HCM Stock Exchange declined, with Viettinbank (CTG), Vietcombank (VCB) and property developer Vincom Co (VIC) among the few high-profile advancers. Other gainers were mostly penny stocks.


Overall trading increased slightly, however, to 44.8 million shares, worth a combined 1.8 trillion VND (94.2 million USD). Telecommunications cable producer Viet-Han (VHG) led the southern market, with 2.6 million shares changing hands.


Real estate developer Long Hau (LHG) listed 20 million shares on the HCM City market on March 23. LHG shares hit their ceiling price of 48,000 VND on their first day of trading, with a volume of just 1,000 shares.


On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index also closed off 0.85 percent to 166.97. The volume of the day’s trades reached 29.8 million shares, worth 939.3 billion VND (49.2 million USD).


Losers outnumbered gainers by 154-82 while Kim Long Securities Co (KLS) continued to be the most heavily-traded share with nearly 3.6 million traded.


The northern bourse on the same day also welcomed a new listing of 1.5 million shares of Song Da Electrical Engineering Co (SDE). SDE closed off 6 percent up from its opening price to 30,000 VND (1.57 USD) on a volume of 74,300 shares.


Foreign investors returned to being net buyers on both bourses responsible for a net buy of 866,830 shares, worth a combined 63 billion VND (3.3 million USD).



Food group buys up rice to stabilise prices


The Vietnam Food Association has announced that it is to increase its target of stockpiling rice from 1 million tonnes to 1.5 million tonnes.


“The price will be set in accordance with the market and will satisfy the winter-spring crop guarantee of a minimum 30 percent profit for farmers,” said vice chairman of the association Pham Van Bay.


According to Bay, the completion of the winter-spring crop harvest in the Cuu Long (Mekong) River Delta has seen rice prices jump to between 4,200 VND to 4,500 VND (0.22 to 0.24 USD) per kilogram.


He said that businesses had collected around 790,000 tonnes of the 1 million tonnes required. However, a lack of storage facilities and a gloomy export market have slowed purchase.


Bay, however, was still optimistic about the rice export market after competitor countries such as Indonesia and Bangladesh suffered from poor harvests.


The association has asked its members to continue to stockpile rice and launch a website with up-to-date market information and support for farmers.


As of March 18, the country had signed contracts to export 3 million tonnes of rice, a drop of 12 percent against the same period last year, according to the association.


Of the signed contracts, the country has shipped nearly 1 million tonnes worth 465 million USD, a reduction of 25.9 percent in volume and 12.8 percent in value against the same period last year.


However, things are looking up now as several importers negotiate purchases of more rice from Vietnam and export prices show an upward trend, according to the association.


Over the past two months, rice exports were implemented mostly via government-to-government contracts.


However, rice exporters have now begun to get commercial contracts, the association said.

Several markets like Indonesia, Bangladesh are also planning to import rice from Vietnam, it added.

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