Last update: 22:00 | 12/05/2018

Doosan Vietnam exports first rubber-tyred cranes to India


Doosan Heavy Industries Vietnam Co. Ltd. (Doosan Vina) has shipped five rubber-tyred cranes to India.

Each crane has a weight of 160 tonnes and is 37m high, 28m long and 13m wide. It is designed to handle 41-tonne containers.

The “Made-in-Vietnam” cranes were ordered by Krishnapatnam Port Co. Ltd of India.

These are the first rubber-tyred cranes manufactured by Doosan Vietnam.

In March, Doosan Vietnam also exported three rail-mounted quay cranes to India.

They are part of an order of 12 cranes requested by India-based Bharat Mumbai Container Terminals Private Limited, to deal with substantial throughput at its unit in the Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) in Mumbai. So far, a total of nine units have been exported to India.

The export is a key project of Doosan Vina, which has been prioritised for development by the Vietnamese Government.

The three rail-mounted quay cranes have a total weight of 4,440 tonnes. Each crane is 73.8m high, 143m long and 26m wide. Each one is designed to handle 75-tonne containers.

The last three cranes of the project are expected to be shipped to India in September. Doosan Vina has so far exported more than 70 cranes to the world market, including PSA Port of Singapore, JNPT of India, Samarinda Port of Indonesia and several ports of Vietnam.

Hai Phong Int’l Container Terminal to welcome first ship

A ceremony will be held in the northern port city of Hai Phong on May 13 to launch the Hai Phong International Container Terminal (HITC) and welcome the first ship to the port.

The HITC, a joint venture between Saigon New Port and Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), Wan Hai Lines (WHL) of Taiwan (China), and Japan’s Itochu Corporation (ITO), is the first deep-water port in the north of Vietnam. 

With two 750m-long wharves, the HITC is capable of receiving vessels up to 14,000 TEU. The goods output through the port is estimated at 1.1 million TEU per year.

Construction of the 45-hectare port began on May 12, 2016 with a total investment of 321 million USD.

According to the Saigon New Port, the HITC has a favourable location as it connects most of inland waterways and coastal roads to Quang Ninh and northern provinces. It also links to feeder terminals New Port 128, New Port 189, ICD New Port – Hai Phong and ICD New Port Ha Nam as well as the northern and central key economic zones and southwestern China.

Vietnam, Middle East boost trade, investment

Vietnam and the Middle East hold potential to boost trade and investment, as heard the Vietnam – Middle East trade forum held in Ho Chi Minh City on May 11. 

Speaking at the event, deputy head of the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Department of Asia – Africa Markets Le Thai Hoa described the Middle East as a big market with a population of over 300 million people. Each year, the region imports food worth nearly 40 billion USD, which is expected to hike to 70 billion USD by 2035. 

Major promising markets in the region include the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Turkey, Arab Saudi and Iran. 

Two-way trade between Vietnam and the Middle East hit 12 billion USD last year, 9 billion USD of which was Vietnam’s exports to the region. Apart from food and farm produce, the region has great demand for mobile phones, electronic equipment, consumer goods, leather and footwear which are Vietnam’s hard currency earners. 

The UAE is now Vietnam’s biggest economic and trade partner with export turnover in excess of 5 billion USD last year. 

Vietnamese Ambassador to the UAE Trinh Vinh Quang said Vietnam is now gateway for UAE firms to access ASEAN market while the UAE is a gateway for Vietnam to expand to the Middle East. 

UAE Ambassador to Vietnam Obaid Al Dhaheri hailed Vietnam as the UAE’s leading economic partner in Southeast Asia and suggested promoting collaboration across renewable energy, metallurgy, vessel repair, petrochemicals, chemicals and mechanical engineering. 

The UAE has invested in 14 projects worth over 26 million USD in Vietnam, mostly in infrastructure, real estate, mineral resources, manufacturing, tourism and services. 

Though two-way trade grows over years, Vietnam’s exports to the Middle East only account for more than 1 percent of the region’s total imports. Though the region is strong in oil and gas, chemicals, manufacturing materials, industrial and high-tech goods, trade with Vietnam remains limited. 

Hoa advised Vietnamese firms to understand business customs as well as necessary regulations on exports to the region. In particular, foodstuff needs Halal certification, adding that they should check records of partners and discuss the least risky payment before signing contracts and delivering goods. 

Do Hoai Nam, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Coffee – Cocoa Association, said the region boasts huge demand for rice, coffee, pepper and aquatic products. 

He suggested accessing the Middle East market via Dubai – one of the most open economies and a transit hub in the region, and joining annual trade fairs in Dubai to directly meet regional buyers. 

On the occasion, the UAE’s Relam Investment and Vietnam’s MIG Holdings signed a cooperation agreement to launch Trade Hub in Vietnam – a platform operating in many countries to connect online trade. 

MIG Holdings Director Nguyen Duy Phuong said Trade Hub Vietnam is due to go into operation in July 2018, connecting manufacturers, services suppliers, financial organisations and investors together. 

He added that Trade Hub will help small and medium-sized enterprises in marketing and trade promotion and share logistics services for small orders. 

Executive Director of Savil Vietnam Neil Madgegor said the Middle East’s investment in Vietnam tends to increase, mostly in real estate and high technology. 

In order to attract the Middle East investment, he said Vietnamese firms need to improve transparency, corporate governance and workforce quality, thereby promoting bilateral partnership.-

Indexes’ recovery greens stock market

VN Index regained almost 16 points on May 11 after a tumble on the previous day, helping the stock market end green on the week’s last trading day.

On the HCM Stock Exchange (HOSE), sellers still dominated in the morning, making the benchmark index fluctuate around 1,020 points.

In the afternoon, a money inflow appeared and strongly shored up VN Index.

Prices of key stocks bounced back with such shares as SAB, VIC, GAS, VIC, BID and CTG standing higher than the reference point at the end of the trading session.

Bank stocks grew by 3.29 percent while utilities and property stocks respectively rose by 4.89 percent and 2.35 percent.

VN Index increased by 15.98 points to 1,044.85 points. HNX Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX) inched up 1.82 points to 122.77 points, and UPCoM Index on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM) was up 0.05 point to 56.08 points.

Liquidity fell sharply on May 11. Total transaction value of the market was low, nearly 4.742 trillion VND (208.4 million USD).

Vietnam attends AgriTech 2018 in Israel

Representatives from Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and businesses participated in the 20th International Agricultural Exhibition and Conference (Agritech 2018) in Israel on May 8-10.

The event offered an excellent opportunity for agro-enterprises to share experience in various fields such as ecological agriculture, fertilizers and chemicals, animal husbandry and milk production, net house cultivation, biotechnology, organic agriculture, fisheries, floriculture, plant protection, and marketing and export services.

Agritech 2018 is one of the world’s most important exhibitions on hi-tech agriculture organized by Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Economy once every three years since 1958 with the aim of promoting Israel’s advanced technologies and connecting Israeli businesses with foreign partners.

This year’s event featured over 250 pavilions and attracted over 10,000 visitors. 

The same day, a business forum between Vietnam and Israel was held. 

Director General of Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Shlomo Ben Eliyahu said business communities play a crucial role in promoting the cooperative relations between the two countries.

Deputy head of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations Nguyen Huy Tang said Agritech 2018 enabled Vietnamese businesses to study the latest technologies that are being applied in agriculture in Israel as well as seek cooperation opportunities with Israeli agro-companies.

Despite geographical distance, the two countries have enjoyed sound relations in wide-ranging fields, according to Tang.

This year, Vietnam and Israel mark the 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties, he said, adding that over the past 25 years, the bilateral collaboration has been stepped up across the board, particularly in science-technology and agriculture.

Since 2014, the two-way trade has continuously grown, at over 1 billion USD per year, he noted.

Israel is running 27 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in Vietnam with a total registered capital of more than 66 million USD, he said, adding that the two countries are pushing ahead with negotiations on the bilateral free trade agreement (FTA).

Tang said he hopes the Vietnam – Israel FTA will be signed soon, creating a legal framework for and facilitating bilateral trade.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Hoang Van Thang expressed his confidence in the stronger cooperation between Vietnam and Israel, especially in agriculture. 

Addressing the forum, Vietnamese Ambassador to Israel Cao Tran Quoc Hai said the Vietnamese Government and people attach much importance to the comprehensive cooperation with Israeli State and people.

He highlighted remarkable achievements in the bilateral collaboration in economy, politics, culture, security and defence.

Notably, two-way trade hit 1 billion USD in 2017, fivefold against 2009, he raised the fact.

The two sides have conducted four rounds of negotiation for the bilateral FTA with important agreements expected to be reached soon, he added.

According to the Ambassador, apart from economic and trade cooperation, many Vietnamese localities and businesses and Israeli partners have successfully transferred technologies to carry out hi-tech agricultural projects including dairy production of TH True Milk and growing vegetable in greenhouses of Vingroup.

He highlighted the significance of the forum, which aimed to put forth orientations to strengthen economic partnership between Vietnam and Israel in the future as well as establish a foundation for business connectivity and update businesses with investment cooperation opportunities.

Pepper output increases sharply but prices fall

Vietnam’s output and export of pepper increased sharply last year, but their prices and thus turnover from exports fell, according to the industry association.

The Vietnam Pepper Association (VPA) and industry-related authorities attended a meeting on May 11 in HCM City to review last year’s performance.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the General Statistic Office, Vietnam has around 150,000 hectares under pepper and output last year was 240,000 tonnes, or 48 percent of global production.

According to the VPA there was a decrease in the use of pesticides last year since farmers are more aware these days of better farming techniques.

Prices have been highly volatile: the price of black pepper for instance declined from 133,000 VND per kilogramme in January to 73,000 VND in December.

The General Department of Vietnam Customs said 215,000 tonnes of the spice were exported for 1.1 billion USD, respectively up 20 percent and down 22 percent.

The reasons for the falling prices include climate change, a massive spike in the area under pepper, farmers’ inexperience, which have contributed to rising outputs but with poor quality.

In the first quarter of this year prices were around 30 percent lower than a year ago, the VPA said.

Vietnam’s exports this year are expected to be comparable to that of last year since the industry will continue to face all the current challenges such as climate change and diseases.

VPA plans to work more closely with farmers and businesses to help them comply with regulations and standards for pepper production and export and provide market information to help them make suitable decisions.

The Western Highlands Agriculture and Forestry Science Institute said they were researching into better pepper strains capable of withstanding diseases.

Willem Scato van Walt Meijer, General Director of Nedspice Processing Vietnam Ltd., which has been operating in Binh Phuoc province for the last five years, said quality control for exports and working closely with farmers were the keys to resolving the problems.

“We have a network of 1,600 farmers and trained them very carefully, and do 100 percent tracking and tracing of all our farms, which allows us to help certain farmers improve, monitor the effectiveness of each farmer, and reward outstanding farmers.”

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong had said at a meeting in January that the rapid increase in land under pepper should be addressed quickly and the pepper farming land should be reduced.

Air freight costs stymie fruit exports

Vietnamese air freight costs are much higher than the regional average and this is believed to be one of the main reasons hindering Vietnam’s fruit exports.

“We mostly export fresh mango, logan, litchi and dragon fruit to demanding markets like Australia, Japan and the Republic of Korea by air because such fruits cannot be sent by sea,” Dam Quang Thang, General Director of Agrice Vietnam company, told Thanh Nien (Youth) newspaper.

Thang said his company has to use Thai, Malaysian and Singaporean airlines because their cost “is half or one third their Vietnamese counterparts”. Thang said.

For each kilogramme of fruit worth 1 USD, his company pays 2-3 USD in freight, he revealed.

“We pay 2.9-3.2 USD for a kilogramme [if the consignment is] less than 1,000kg when shipping to Europe by Vietnamese carriers but only 1.2 – 1.8 USD with Thai carriers.”

His company had lost several orders from the RoK to Thai rivals because of price, he said.

Nguyen Manh Hung, General Director of Nafoods Group, said: “The high air freight cost is the biggest hurdle to the development of Vietnamese fruit exports.”

Due to the high cost, his company can only export around 1,000 tonnes of passion fruit, he said.

“If we can reduce transportation costs, we can sharply increase our quantity.”

The issue was raised by Ta Duc Minh, Vietnamese commercial counsellor in Japan, at a ministry meeting held last February to discuss boosting fruit exports.

Vietnamese fruits cost more in Japan than those from faraway Thailand and Ecuador because their freight costs are much lower, Minh said.

Due to the high logistics costs, Vietnamese fruits are now exported only to Japan, the RoK and China.

Even large companies can only export a few thousand tonnes of fruits a year to more distant markets like America and Europe, according to a senior official in the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s American and European markets department.

“Fresh fruits can only be exported by air, and logistics account for a big chunk of their price,” Nguyen Quoc Toan, head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s agricultural product processing and market development department, said.

“High air freight costs are limiting the competitiveness of Vietnamese fruits in the international market.”

AEON MALL Haiphong Le Chan to open in 2020

AEON MALL's sixth commercial centre in Vietnam, AEON MALL Haiphong Le Chan, started construction on May 13, 2018. The facility is expected to be put into operation in 2020.

Yasutsugu Iwamura, general director of AEON MALL Vietnam, told VIR that the project is estimated to cost $190 million.This will be AEON MALL's sixth mall in Vietnam and third in the north. The company is deepening its footprint as a Life Design Developer creating a life for the future.

When put into operation, AEON MALL Haiphong Le Chan is expected to attract more than 13 million customers per year from Haiphong city and neighboring areas such as Quang Ninh, Hai Duong, and Thai Binh.

This will not only be an ideal place for shopping but also a multi-functional complex which will create an exciting environment for social and cultural exchange for customers at all ages with many integrated entertainment and educational facilities.

In addition, with the commencement of Nguyen Van Linh Overpass under the Ho Sen-Cau Rao 2 project, AEON MALL Haiphong Le Chan will play an important role in improving the infrastructure of the area, contributing to the new look of Le Chan district and catering to the city’s need for comprehensive and synchronised urbanisation.

AEON MALL Haiphong Le Chan will follow the consistent design style of environment-friendly space, large parking area, and the philosophy of innovating customer shopping experience with a wide range of business categories, convenient facilities, and exciting entertainment.

Haiphong is the largest international gateway port city in North Vietnam, while it is also the economic, industrial, cultural, medical, educational, scientific, commercial, and technological center of the Northern coastal region.

Over the past years, the city has made remarkable progress in terms of infrastructure, with projects like the Hanoi-Haiphong highway, Lach Huyen International Port, as well as frequently invested and expanded industrial parks (VSIP, Trang Due, Deep C and South Dinh Vu), and as a result, the city has become the leading foreign and domestic investment attraction in Vietnam.

Le Chan district is driven by Haiphong to develop in an open direction with a series of urban renovation and development, infrastructure, and new housing projects.

Nippon Sheet Glass to restart idle thin glass float factory in Vietnam

Japanese glass producer Nippon Sheet Glass (NSG) will pump part of a $365 million investment into upgrading and restarting a currently dormant thin glass float factory in Vietnam, according to the company website.

It is part of the expansion of its production capacity of online TCO (transparent conductive oxide) coated glass to support the growing solar market. Accordingly, the remainder of the $365 million will be used to develop a new glass production facility in the US over the next three years.

According to newswire Nikkei Asian Review, the plant in Vietnam is scheduled to reopen as soon as mid-2019. Meanwhile, the operations at the new US factory will start in the second half of the 2020 fiscal year. A site has not yet been chosen, but is expected to be near major customer First Solar's new plant in the state of Ohio.

Plans call for raising capacity by about 30 per cent for a special glass coated in a transparent conductive film that forms the topmost layer of thin-film solar panels. The glass can also be used for other purposes like construction.

In order to realise this target, Nippon Sheet Glass will sign a long-term supply agreement with First Solar, the world’s leading provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar systems with holding about 5 per cent of the global solar panel market and rapidly rising output in the US and Asian countries like Malaysia. The completed panels are likely to be used for projects like massive solar power plants in the US and Asia.

Resuming the operations of Nippon Sheet Glass’ plant in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau is considered a motivation for accelerating the construction of the unfinished segment of the First Solar project in Vietnam.

In January 2018, First Solar Vietnam held a career day at Binh Duong’s Mira Hotel to support the recruitment of associates across the company’s operations. The company will be developing local talent in roles that include manufacturing operators, quality engineers, supplier quality engineers, EHS engineers, shift managers, IT staff, and all manner of administrative and support roles—bringing First Solar’s total number of associates to over 950 in the nation.

First Solar has re-affirmed its commitment to Vietnam by injecting an additional $360 million into the construction of a second 1.2GW high-tech factory at South East Industrial Zone in Ho Chi Minh City, bringing the total investment to $830 million.

“First Solar Vietnam is looking forward to gearing up and teaming up for 2018,” said Chan See Chong, First Solar Vietnam’s managing director.

Regarding the Nippon Sheet Glass plant, previously, in June 2014, the company took the $123-million thin glass float factory into operation. The factory was operated by wholly-owned subsidiary NSG Vietnam Glass Industries Limited (VGI) in Ba Ria-Vung Tau’s My Xuan A Industrial Park.

However, two years later, the firm had to suspend the factory. According to the release posted on the company’s website, this was an exit from loss-making businesses, “thus minimising losses, aiming to swiftly eliminate obstacles to a further recovery in Nippon Sheet Glass’ performance.”

Vietnam retail sector is undergoing a dramatic transformation and evolution

Vietnam’s retail sector is undergoing a dramatic transformation and evolution, according to Mr. Troy Griffiths, Deputy Managing Director of Savills Vietnam. He made this statement at the workshop “Next Generation Retail – Embracing Design for Future Opportunities” which was held by Savills Vietnam on May 10 in Hanoi.

Mr. Troy pointed out that in the past, this type of contemporary retail was very rare.

However, a series of new products now are appearing on the market and many shopping centers that have modern designs are sprouting up. Retail is changing everyday, and this also has a big impact on consumer behavior.

“In the future, we will have the chance to witness many new retail models with modern facilities that are entertaining and creative,” he added. “In addition, the e-commerce market in Vietnam is growing rapidly with the development of smart technology. All these changes and evolutions are aimed to serve consumers.”

At the workshop he also said that in addition to the transformation of the traditional retail model, technology investments such as apps, smartphones, and e-commerce make the purchase of goods much easier. The recent cooperation of many traditional retailers and e-commerce platforms is also a response to the adaptation and change towards a retail paradigm that fits with the times and consumers.

Mr. Troy also affirmed that it’s very unfortunate that foreign retailers who want to enter the Vietnam market don’t pay attention to the market potential, the dynamics of the young population, and the habit of using a smartphone. Understanding consumers, especially consumers in Vietnam, is not easy. That’s why the retail market in Vietnam is not suitable for those who just focus on the potential of a rising market. The younger generation also carries a decisive factor that affects the majority of consumer habits and behaviors.

“We have witnessed many successes and failures and the lesson is to learn thoroughly before implementing any plans,” said Mr. Troy. “The Vietnamese market has many factors, including ideal timing, fast expansion, high-income consumers and diverse shopping preferences.”

Also at the workshop, Mr. Trevor Vivian, Managing Director of Benoy Architecture & Master Planning said that shopping centers are changing throughout Asia partly because of the change of consumers and their habits.

The change of the Vietnam retail market is very obvious, especially in HCMC and Hanoi. The change comes from the transformation of the early economic market into an economy that can be called “delicate.” It comes from the retail sector itself. Even design trends have spread to the food industry. In addition to being delicious, Vietnamese food is also extremely beautiful. “The market is changing so fast, so we need to quickly learn more,” Mr. Trevor noted.

Mr. Trevor also mentioned that foreign brands entering the market is a positive sign. “This combination will bring about a change in the retail and consumer environment in Vietnam,” he added.

On the other hand, Mr. Nicholas Bradstreet, Managing Director, Head of Leasing, Savills Hong Kong said that Vietnam's retail sector achieved impressive growth of about $129.6 billion in 2017, up 10.6 per cent from 2016. “Retailers as well as landlords need to be prepared to respond to new trends, such as adding more entertainment value and food for customers in addition to shopping,” he added. “The pop-up store model is also a popular solution as it has a wide range of activities such as product launches, branding, and market testing.”

Renewable energy in Vietnam has great potential yet poor exploitation

The renewable energy in Vietnam possesses great potential, yet exploiting it still quite poor, according to professionals in the international conference ‘Integrating aquaculture and renewable energy system, a driving force for renewable energy development in Vietnam’ held in Ho Chi Minh City on May 11.

When evaluating the importance of energy in aquaculture, Mr. Nhu Van Can, representative of the Directorate of Fisheries under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that at the moment, the energy cost for raising prawn is around VND50 – 200 million per hectare per crop (around $2,196 – 8,785) depending on the investment scale. This accounts for 10 percent of the total expense cost.

Therefore, according to Deputy Director of the Southern Power Corporation (EVN SPC) Nguyen Phuoc Duc, renewable energy is a very effective solution to reduce the pressure of energy lack.

What is more, thanks to a surplus of sunshine and wind, aquaculture farms in the south-central areas are ideal places to install and make use of solar and windy energy in production.

However, according to Mr. Tran Viet Ngai, Head of the Vietnam Energy Association, the renewable energy in Vietnam has great potential, but due to the poor exploitation, it becomes quite ineffective, especially for the task of aquaculture production.

Analyses from his association estimate that Vietnam can harness about 30GW of wind energy inland and 100GW more offshore.

Vietnam can also produce an ideal amount of solar energy thanks to the long time of sunshine and the large surface area exposed to the sun from North to South. Nevertheless, until the end of 2016, this renewable energy accounted for less than 3 percent of the total 42,341MW of the whole electricity system.

Explanation of the Vietnam Electricity reveals that the low performance of renewable energy is because it is only developed locally. In addition, it is very difficult to have a synchronous growth of the electricity grid since the locations of the building projects are still unidentified.

The unstable capacity of this kind of energy may be due to the dependence on wind force or solar radiation.

However, the most important reason is that there is a serious lack of a specific standard system, construction standard system, or an operation standard system for renewable energy.

In order to effectively exploit this kind of energy, professionals suggested that the government should encourage its development, especially solar energy installed on roofs and wind energy in the Southern area.

It is also recommended that policies and regulations be made to attract investment while local authorities create conditions for the allocation of land for renewable energy projects and introduce tax incentives for those projects.

Paper factory’s investment certificate to be revoked

The People’s Committee in central Quang Ngai Province has asked the provincial Department of Planning and Investment to revoke the investment certificate of Tan Mai Pulp and Paper Factory.

The committee has requested the department to issue a written termination of investment in accordance with the provisions of the 2014 Investment Law.

The decision was taken after the factory failed to operate in time.

Deputy director of the factory Le Quang Phuc said thousands of tonnes of machinery and equipment had been abandoned and exposed to sunlight for five years because the factory had not operated.

The factory had rented nine workers to maintain and protect the machinery and equipment, he said.

The project was granted an investment certificate in March 2009 and was scheduled for completion in 2011. Construction kicked off in July 2010 but had to be suspended in 2012.

The investor’s identity has not been disclosed.

The factory, which was expected to be the largest project in Vietnam’s paper sector, was designed to produce 130,000 tonnes of pulp and 200,000 tonnes of paper per year. The initial investment was VNĐ1.95 trillion (US$85.43 million), of which 30 per cent came from the investor and the remainder was from loans. After an adjustment of five times, the investment capital was increased to more than VNĐ5 trillion.

Big companies raise profile of OTC market

Recently many sector-leading companies and others with excellent growth potential have seen their shares trade on the over-the-counter (OTC) exchange.

They include Techcombank, Cenland and Hải Phát Invest.

Their presence has significantly raised the profile of the OTC market.

Late last month Techcombank successfully sold more than 164 million shares to foreign institutional investors at a price of VNĐ128,000.

The deal helped raise VNĐ21 trillion (US$922 million) and valued the lender at $6.5 billion.

In the first quarter of this year Techcombank shares have been averaging between VNĐ95,000 and VNĐ100,000 at free transactions. On the OTC, they have been traded at VNĐ113,000-120,000.

Cenland is considered to be the first distributor of real estate products in Việt Nam. The company has already launched an initial public offering of its shares besides selling stakes to Dragon Capital and Vina Capital.

According to Dealstreetasia, Vinacapital paid $10 million for a 12 per cent stake while Dragon Capital owns 13 per cent of the company.

Cenland’s shares are traded on the OTC at around VNĐ50,000.    

Also involved in the real estate sector, the Hải Phát Invest Joint Stock Company has legal capital of VNĐ1.5 trillion and sold a 15 per cent stake to Dragon Capital last year.

Its shares are traded on the OTC at around VNĐ30,000.

Last week the OTC market became hotter after information about the listing date of Vinhome, a subsidiary of Vingroup, was released.

Many investors are eagerly awaiting the trading of Vinhomes shares on the OTC market. 

Vingroup has announced that Vinhomes and another member company of the group have signed a deal with Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC Private Limited.

Under the agreement, GIC will invest US$1.3 billion in two forms: buy Vinhomes shares and provide a debt instrument to Vinhomes (such as loans) to implement its projects. Credit Suisse (Singapore) Limited acted as the consultant for the deal.

Market observers pointed out that the situation on the OTC is in direct contrast to the gloom on the stock markets.

Lazada delivers a damaged-battery laptop, not support client to return or exchange

Lazada delivered a laptop with damaged battery and keyboard and has been delaying refund or exchange for a month now.

Pham Hai Binh (Giap Bat ward, Hoang Mai district, Hanoi) told VIR that he bought a Dell Latitude E6410 laptop on Lazada in early April under the order ID 200613023746147. He spent VND3.89 million ($171.4) on this item, which is VND1 million ($44) cheaper than the selling price in other stores.

However, when he received the laptop, after short use, he realised that the keyboard was stuck and cannot type while the battery has been almost completely dead. A full charge could power the laptop for only 15 minutes and the machine would be very hot throughout the time.

Binh immediately contacted the customer department of Lazada to ask for a refund or exchange, but was not supported, although the website promises to: “Return or exchange items easily within 14 days, even if you simply do not like the product.”

He has tried to return the item in two ways, by contacting Lazada to send an employee to take the laptop and to send it by post. However, Lazada did not send anybody to take the item and did not send him their postal address for delivery to send it via post.

Meanwhile, Lazada’s warehouse is located in Bac Ninh province, 30 kilometres from Hanoi.

“I asked for a refund or exchange nearly a month ago. I talked to them more than ten times by chatting or calling but I have only been told to “Please wait for 48 hours”—and nobody contacted me since then. Now I know this service (return/exchange services) does not work and 48-hour reply is a scam. Are there any other ways to get a refund or an exchange?”

The case is not good at a time when Lazada is celebrating its six years' anniversary in Vietnam.

Looking on the website of Lazada, it can be seen that information on numerous items is very ambiguous, as customers cannot know if they are new or used and how long the warranty period is. There are some comments at the bottom of the website, but the cheap prices draw most customers’ attention.

Thus, the Vietnam Competition Authority should quickly finish its on-going investigations and announce the conclusions so that customers can be in the clear about what they face with Lazada in order to ensure fairness and transparency in online shopping.

The number of complaints making it to news should be a wake up call for Lazada to radically re-invent its business practices, as well as improve the quality of goods and services on its platform if they want to operate in Vietnam for a long time.

Japanese air-conditioning giant Daikin Industries will open its first production base in Vietnam this Friday (May 18), marking its newest step to boost presence in the country.

Located in the northern province of Hung Yen, the $100-million factory has a capacity of 500,000 units a year, which is planned to increase to one million units by 2020, to cash in on the growing demand for residential-use air conditioners in the country, which is predicted to rise to 40 per cent (market penetration) by 2020 from the current 22 per cent.

According to Ly Thi Phuong Trang, president of Daikin Air Conditioning Vietnam JSC, the Asia-Pacific region is among Daikin’s most important investment destinations in the world. In Vietnam, residential-use air conditioner sales were 2.3 million units in 2015 and are forecast to climb to four million units in 2020. Residential-use air conditioners rank fifth in long-lasting consumer products in the country, just behind automobiles, TVs, refrigerators, and washing machines.

Over the past few years, Daikin has been importing air conditioners to Vietnam, mainly from its subsidiary in Thailand. The Thai production facilities have been operating at full capacity since the third quarter of 2015 due to growing demand from Vietnam and other markets. Also, supply have lately failed to keep pace with demand.

With Daikin's move in, competition in the local market is expected to heat up. Other market leaders are now Panasonic, Samsung, Gree, LG, Midea, Mitsubishi, Sharp, Toshiba, and Electrolux.

Currently, Daikin Industries has operations in Japan, China, Australia, India, Southeast Asia, Europe, North America, and South America.

Doosan Vietnam exports first rubber-tyred cranes to India, Vitas: Vietnam’s potential of exporting apparel to Australia is huge, Pepper output increases sharply but prices fall, Air freight costs stymie fruit exports