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HCM City and Japan Bank for International Cooperation set up infrastructure fund

HCMC, Sep 13, 2012. The HCMC government and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a joint venture which will invest in infrastructure projects in HCMC.

Under the memorandum, JBIC and HCMC Finance and Investment State-owned Company (HFIC) will set up a financial joint venture to mobilize capital sources for infrastructure projects in the city such as metro lines and elevated roads.

At the signing ceremony, HCMC chairman Le Hoang Quan said infrastructure development would be a top priority of the city in the coming years. The city is in dire need of capital for its metro line projects that are being carried out, he added.

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World Bank, Vietnam sign almost USD 1 billion to develop infrastructure and reduce poverty

Hanoi, January 12, 2012 – The State Bank of Vietnam and the World Bank today signed one IBRD loan and four IDA credits totaling US$ 973.5 million to support the development of modern infrastructure and in recognition of recent reforms in Vietnam. The money will be used to finance the Da Nang – Quang Ngai Expressway Project (US$ 613.5 million), Medium Cities Development Project (US$ 210 million) and the 10th Poverty Reduction Support Credit (US$ 150 million).

“This is the first time that the World Bank is financing the development of an expressway in Vietnam. This is in recognition of Vietnam’s need for modern infrastructure as it addresses emerging challenges of a lower middle income country.” said Victoria Kwakwa, Country Director for the World Bank in Vietnam. “The other credits signed today are expected to provide urban infrastructure in three medium cities with potential for development in their region, and contribute to implementation of Vietnam’s reforms.”

The Da Nang – Quang Ngai Expressway Project will construct an expressway that will enhance efficiency and safety for road users travelling between Da Nang city and Quang Ngai province, and build institutional capacity for expressway development in Vietnam‘s Ministry of Transport. The expressway will link the National Highway 1A, to the south of Da Nang city then to Quang Ngai province, and then back to National Highway 1A, in Quang Ngai province. The expressway facility in Central Vietnam would provide the necessary capacity for future growth, help reduce road accidents, and facilitate both domestic and international trade through regional integration.

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World Bank Update on Vietnam’s Economic Development, Dec 6, 2011

Prospects for the global economy have become less certain in the second half of 2011, with significant increase in downside risks. Developing countries in East Asia are growing faster than developed countries, but they too are facing challenges due to a combination of reasons including: slower expansion in demand in developed countries; the impact of global uncertainty on investor sentiments; natural disasters; and the withdrawal of stimulus policies.

Vietnam’s growth slowed in 2011 compared to 2010, though it is still expected to reach around 5.8 percent. The external sector has remained relatively stable. The current account deficit declined in 2011, as export performance outpaced imports and remittances grew robustly. Both import and export values saw a dramatic rise, mostly because of higher commodities prices.

External debt remains sustainable, as the current account deficit was more than covered through medium-term capital inflows that are largely non debt-creating (foreign direct investments) or contracted on concessional terms (official development aid). Foreign direct investment inflows continued at a steady pace, although new commitments declined.

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Weekly Update Jan 9: Emotion Control, Winter Weekend

Highlights

Membership Directory 2012: Listings and Announcements
Tu, Jan 10 Emotion Control: Secret of a Joyful and Successful Life
Mo, Jan 16 M.L.King, Jr. Day (U.S. Holiday)
Mo-Th, Jan 23-26 TET Lunar New Year (observed)
Fr-Su, Feb 24-26 Winter Weekend: Save the Date
World Bank Economic Update: Vietnam, Nov 2011
World Bank: Vietnam Key Indicators, Nov 2011 (East Asia & Pacific Update)

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Weekly Update Dec 26: Membership Directory 2012; Happy New Year 2012!

Highlights

Sa, Dec 31 Deadline – Membership Directory 2012: Listings and Announcements
Mo, Jan 16 M.L.King, Jr. Day
Mo-Th, Jan 22-26 TET Lunar New Year (observed)
Fr-Su, Feb 24-26 Winter Weekend: Register Now
World Bank Economic Update: Vietnam, Nov 2011
World Bank: Vietnam Key Indicators, Nov 2011 (East Asia & Pacific Update)

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Vietnam Risks Stability If Policy Eased: IMF, World Bank

Dec 6, 2011. Vietnam may undermine progress toward economic stability if it loosens monetary policy now, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank said as the nation struggles with the fastest inflation in Asia.

“The authorities need to move rapidly and decisively to ensure financial sector soundness while re-establishing macroeconomic stability,” Sanjay Kalra, the IMF’s resident representative in Vietnam, said in comments prepared for a conference in Hanoi today. “Failure to do so, or even loosening policies now, would jeopardize the gains already made.”

Vietnam faces an inflation rate close to 20 percent, a trade deficit, slowing economic growth and risks in the banking sector. The government said today gross domestic product may climb about 6 percent this year, lower than 6.8 percent in 2010, and Kalra said a transparent framework for recapitalization and consolidation in the financial sector is “urgently needed.”

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Weekly Update Dec 19: Membership Directory 2012; Season’s Greetings

Highlights

Sa, Dec 31 Deadline – Membership Directory 2012: Listings and Announcements
Su, Dec 25 Christmas Day
Mo, Jan 16 M.L.King, Jr. Day
Mo-Th, Jan 22-26 TET Lunar New Year (observed)
Fr-Su, Feb 24-26 Winter Weekend: Save the Date
World Bank Economic Update: Vietnam, Nov 2011
World Bank: Vietnam Key Indicators, Nov 2011 (East Asia & Pacific Update)

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IMF says Vietnam interest rate cut may “confuse the market”

July 12 (Bloomberg)—The Vietnamese central bank’s decision to cut its repurchase rate last week may call into question the government’s determination to fight inflation, the International Monetary Fund said.

The State Bank of Vietnam lowered the repo rate for the seven-day term on July 4 to 14 percent from 15 percent. The central bank had boosted it from 7 percent at the start of November 2010. The rate appears to have become the benchmark for monetary policy, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.

“We are a bit concerned that the cut in rates will confuse the market about the government’s commitment to sustaining the stabilization effort under Resolution 11,” Benedict Bingham, the IMF’s senior resident representative in Vietnam, said in an e-mail today in response to a question from Bloomberg News.

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Vietnam looks to slash public spending

HANOI. Mar 31, 2011. Vietnam is expected to cut public investment by 50 trillion dong ($ 2.4 billion) or 7.4% this year, the central bank said Thursday, in its latest attempt to restore economic stability.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, who met with state officials late Wednesday to review the implementation of anti-inflation measures announced last month, asked ministries, provinces and industries to reduce their investment capital in various projects, the central bank said in a statement posted on its website. By reducing investment levels, authorities are hoping to curb the amount of cash circulating in the economy, which in theory should cool growth and help bring inflation down.

Economist Vuong Quan Hoang from Hanoi-based DHVP Research & Consultancy said the government will find it very difficult to cut such a large amount of spending because many of the projects are run by groups with connections to government officials. “It’s not in interests of anyone to cut off the funding,” the economist said.

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