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December 11

Released at: 14:54, 11/12/2017 PRESS WATCH

December 11

VET's round-up of news from Vietnamese media for December 11.

USG Boral plant to expand

USG Boral, a leading producer of building materials, announced on December 7 it would invest an additional $20 million in its plant at the Hiep Phuoc Industrial Zone in Nha Be district, Ho Chi Minh City. The plant’s annual plasterboard production capacity will increase by 17 million sq to 47 million sq m when the expansion work is completed in September 2019. The expansion is to meet increasing demand for high-quality plasterboard in the local construction sector.

SCIC auction part of Vinaconex holding

The State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) brought in VND137 billion ($6 million) after auctioning 5.35 million shares in the Vietnam Construction and Import-Export Joint Stock Corporation (Vinaconex) on the Hanoi Stock Exchange on December 8. The number of shares was equal to 5.6 per cent of SCIC’s holding in the corporation. SCIC reduced its ownership from 57.79 per cent to 52.2 per cent, or nearly 250 million shares. The bidding price for the shares, listed on the Hanoi bourse as VCG, was VND25,600 per share. Three investors registered to buy shares, one of which purchased 5 million shares while two individuals purchased 350,000 shares.

MoF & SBV review grants to Grab

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) will continue coordinating with the State Bank of Vietnam and other authorities to review the use of grants from Grab’s parent company to its Vietnam operations. The purpose is to prevent and promptly handle any tax evasion. In its written response to questions from National Assembly delegate Pham Van Hoa from Dong Thap province during the fourth session of the 14th National Assembly in November, MoF announced it has taken action against any tax fraud related to Grab’s business activities in Vietnam.

BSR & PV Oil sign supply agreements

The operator of Vietnam’s only operational oil refinery and a State-run oil giant have signed initial agreements with two foreign trading companies for annual crude supplies after domestic production fell. The deals were signed between the Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical Co. (BSR) and PV Oil and the Geneva-based SOCAR Trading and Glencore Singapore in Hanoi. BSR will receive 3 million barrels of Azeri Light crude and 2 million barrels of other types of crude from SOCAR Trading on a monthly basis for use at its Dung Quat Oil Refinery between 2018 and 2021. Glencore Singapore will supply 2 million barrels of crude per month to Dung Quat between 2017 and 2021. The supply may increase to 3 million barrels per month in 2021-2025, the officials added.

Malaysian bank to enter digital banking in Vietnam

CIMB Group Holdings Bhd., Malaysia’s second-largest bank by assets, has chosen Vietnam as the starting point to penetrate into digital banking in Southeast Asia. The Kuala Lumpur-based lender will launch its first fully digital bank in Vietnam in January and the next leg will be the Philippines, CEO Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said, adding that Thailand is on the list in the next two to three years. In order to scale up operations, CIMB plans to build partnerships in the new markets, especially with retailers and telecommunication companies, to “build a strong ecosystem,” Mr. Zafrul said.

Thaco opens Quang Nam bus factory

The Truong Hai Automobile Company (Thaco) has opened its Thaco Bus Factory, the largest in Southeast Asia, in central Quang Nam province in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung and leaders of central ministries. Mr. Tran Ba Duong, Chairman of Thaco, said that since 2005 it has researched and manufactured buses to learn from others.

Ticket prices up at HCMC museums

Certain fees and charges will be increased in Ho Chi Minh City from January 1 under a decision made at the sixth session of Ho Chi Minh City Council IX. Tickets to museums in the city will increase. According to the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, ticket prices have remained unchanged since 2005 and are not in line with Circular No. 250 from the Ministry of Finance.

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