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  • 11 January 2018

    finance & business news

    FINANCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Reference exchange rate donw 12 dong 1 Vietnam's forex reserves exceed $53b 2 Banks cut interest on priority sector loans 2 Vietnamese PM asks banking sector to cut interest rates

    to spur economic growth 3 Cash withdrawal ratio reduced to 10pct by end of 2017 3 PM urges Vietnam banking sector to prioritise regulating bitcoin 4 SBV warns 15 banks against risky lending 5 Will 'big waves' of banking sector continue in 2018? 6 Will bank stocks be back to the 'throne'? 8 First bank reduces loan interest rates in 2018 9 Why only about 7pct of Vietnamese have insurance? 9 Friends for life: Vietnam insurance demand rises 10 MatchMove to provide digital payment solutions in VN 11 Agribank's pre-tax profit touches $220 million in 2017 11 SeABank honoured for most trusted savings product 12 Bank tycoon tearful in court 12 Vietnam to officially connect to Asean Single Window in 2018 13 Buoyed by 2017 returns, Vietnam targets 6.7 per cent 14 6.7 per cent growth rate projected by World Bank 15 Record export of VN fruits in 2017 16 US repeals anti-dumping administrative review on Vietnam's

    steel nails 16 US producers seek to block Chinese aluminum shipped via

    Vietnam 17 Ministry assures E5 bio-fuel meets international standards 18 Prices forecast to remain stable, even fall in 2018 19 State capital committee takes charge of state assets in SOEs 19 Vietnam's finance ministry tables conflicting proposals for

    personal income tax shake up 20 Ministry insists on excise tax on sugary drinks 21 Ministry wants higher base salary for public servants 21 Vietnam priorities energy security: Party official 22 VN opens up logistics sector to foreign companies 22 New players to re-shape pharma sector 23 R&D comes to forefront for local pharma sector 24 Aviation spreads wings towards far-flung goals 25 Vietnam's 2017 automobile market below expectation 26 Wood industry urged to embrace automation 27 Agriculture revival with private funds 28 The rules of the race to solar viability 29 Special economic zones ready to launch 31

    Businesses still concern about high costs 32 HCM City, EuroCham step up cooperation 33 Can Tho set to increase Japanese investment 34 UK vocational education providers to seek partnership in Vietnam 34

    BIZ NEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 Business Briefs 11 January, 2018 35 VN Index rises for third day 35 Market turnover improves 36 P/E of over 20 times, does Vietnam's stock market remain

    attractive to foreign capital? 37 Real estate results transfer to bourse 38 Securities firms seek margin lending funds 39 US firm eyes 49pct stake in Dung Quat Oil Refinery 40 EVNGENCO2 to launch IPO in June 40 Habeco sets to raise turnover by 6.7pct to 322 million USD

    in 2018 40 Minh Phu sees little love on UPCoM 41 Thai billionaire seeks to buy Vinamilk stakes 42 Around 41,000 apartments sold in HCM City last year 42 Vietnamese retailers set bar higher than national

    standards to reduce 'dirty' food 42 Govt urges quick plan for Tan Son Nhat Airport expansion 43 ICT Innovation centre to be set up in Can Tho soon 44 Binh Duong waste treatment complex put into use 45 IFC provides $15.3m for tap water use 45 Kon Tum approves project to grow over 4,600ha of Ngoc Linh

    ginseng 46 BRG Group seeks nod to build five-star hotel in HCM City 46 PwC Vietnam and VNCERT form strategic partnership

    for cyber security incident response 47 Bosch and Ricons team up for real estate 48 Govt demands tough sanctions against Khaisilk for trade fraud 49 PVN realises all business targets, faces big challenges ahead 49 German carmaker opens two more Hanoi showrooms 50 MWG and TAG opened doors for further M&A 50 LockLock offers Tet promotion 52 Dozens of pupils faint from steel plant pollution 52 Ex-HCM City Party Chief cites 'impatience' for violations 53 Ho Tram's The Bluffs jumps up Golf Digest list 54 Second Vietnam Economic Forum to open tomorrow in Hanoi 55 HCM City to host international exhibitions on agriculture 55


    FINANCE Reference exchange rate donw 12 dong


    The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) set the daily reference dong/US dollar exchange rate for January 11 at 22,413 dong/US dollar, down 12 dong from yesterday. The opening hour rates at major commercial banks remained unchanged.

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    Vietnam finance & business 11 January 2018

    Vietcombank listed the buying rate at 22,675 dong/US dollar and the selling rate at 22,745 dong/US dollar, unchanged from the previous day. BIDV also kept both rates unchanged at 22,675 dong/US dollar (buying) and 22,745 dong/US dollar (selling). Vietinbank posted the US dollar price at 22,665-22,745 dong/US dollar (buying-sell- ing), the same as on January 10.

    Vietnam's forex reserves exceed $53b


    Vietnam's forex reserve scale continues to set a new record right from the beginning of this year, according to information presented at the conference on implementation of banking industry tasks in 2018, held on January 9. Specifically, reporting to the prime minister at the meeting, State Bank Governor Le Minh Hung said, up to the present time, the forex reserve scale has reached more than $53 billion a historically high level. Remarkably, this scale has continuously been increasing in the last months of 2017 and in the first week of 2018. Earlier, at the end of 2017, deputy Governor Nguyen Thi Hong said Vietnam's foreign reserves reached $52 billion. This scale corresponded to the amount of foreign curren- cy bought by the State Bank last year with about $13 billion. At the end of last week, the figure updated by Governor Le Minh Hung was approximately $52.5 billion and earlier this week, it reached more than $53 billion. With a large supply of foreign currencies, the trading days at the end of 2017 saw a sharp change of the US dollar/dong exchange rate. Especially in the interbank market, for the first time since the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) reduced the buying price in US dollar, the transaction price of US dollar among members penetrated the milestone of 22,710 dongthe reference buying price of the State Bank's Exchange. Apart from the large supply of capital, from foreign direct investment, remittances and the conversion of foreign currencies into dong in the population, this is also the time when the capital conversion activities to meet the demand for dong increase in the sys- tem. In parallel, demand for dong has clearly improved in the interbank market at the end of 2017 and early 2018, with high interest rates. As for overnight interest rates in the inter-bank market, after a long time staying at low level, popularly below one percent/ year, at the weekend and early this week, the increase exceeded 1.6 percent per year.

    Banks cut interest on priority sector loans


    The Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank) and the Agriculture and Rural Development Bank of Vietnam (Agribank) announced on Wednesrday that they would cut interest rates on short-term loans in priority sectors this year. They said the cut followed up on the government's instruction to support domestic production and businesses. These are the first banks to make public their plan to cut interest rates as per a govern- ment Resolution (No 01/NQ-CP dated 01/Jan/2018) and instructions from the Gover- nor of the State Bank of Vietnam, to help ease pressure of high interest expenses for enterprises. Accordingly, interest rates for short-term dong loans will be lowered to 6 per cent per year. Apart from new loans taken this year, the rate would also apply to existing loans with interest rates higher than 6 per cent. The policy, which will be effective from January 15 to December 31 this year, will apply to the five priority sectors of agriculture businesses, firms producing goods for export, small- and medium-sized enterprises, enterprises operating in auxiliary industries, as well as hi-tech enterprises including startups. Also yesterday, Agribank reduced its annual interest rates for short-term loans by 0.5 percentage points from 6.5 per cent to 6 per cent, and those for medium and long-term loans from 8 per cent to 7.5 per cent. Earlier, on Tuesday, Vietcombank Chair Nghiem Xuan Thanh had said that the bank would save costs and enhance labour productivity to enable a 0.5 percentage point re- duction for short-term loans in the five prioritised sectors, which currently make up 42

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    per cent of the bank's total outstanding loans. Last year, Vietcombank had cut its rates by 0.7-1 percentage points for such loans. At Tuesday's meeting on tasks set for the banking industry, Nguyen Van Thang, chair of Vietinbank, said loans given to the five priority sectors accounted for up to 59 per cent of the bank's total outstanding loans. The bank would announce a detailed plan to cut interest rates soon after the meeting, he said. Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) Le Minh Hung said at the meeting that the central bank would also slash the lending rate in Open Market Operations (OMO) to help credit institutions. The central bank announced a credit growth target of 17 per cent for 2018, lower than the 18.17 per ce