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November 17

Released at: 11:53, 17/11/2017 PRESS WATCH

November 17

VET's round-up of news from Vietnamese media for November 17.

MoC to sell Development Investment Construction Group holding

The Ministry of Construction (MoC) has decided to offload its entire holding of 118.26 million shares, or 49.65 per cent, in the Development Investment Construction Group. The sale is expected to take place from November 17 to December 16 through order matching or put-through methods on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange. The ministry has yet to announce the selling price. However, at a trading value of over VND16,000 ($0.70) per share, the sale is likely to be worth some VND2 trillion ($88 million).

MoF targets cross-border payments

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has proposed a regulation that requires Facebook and Google conduct cross-border payment transactions through the National Payment Corporation (Napas). The ministry has asked for coordination from the State Bank of Vietnam to implement the plan, which is aimed at supporting tax agencies to collect taxes from cross-border transactions. The ministry also wants foreign companies providing internet and telecommunications services in Vietnam to open representative offices in the country and file for tax payments. It explained that most global technology companies do not register their business or have official representative offices in Vietnam, while their transactions are cross-border, making it hard to collect taxes.

NA approves new forest law

The National Assembly (NA) has passed the Law on Forestry, replacing the Law on Forest Protection and Development. To take effect on January 1, 2019, the new law is broader in scope than the existing law in terms of forest management, protection, and wood exports. Mr. Tran Thanh Phong from Hau Giang province’s Department of Forest Protection said the new law, with 12 chapters and 108 articles, covers more areas and enhances forest protection, especially forest fire control. Police are currently in charge of forest fires, but the new law transfers this task to forest rangers, which will increase the effectiveness of fire prevention and control.

SCIC to partially divest from Vinaconex

The State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) plans to sell 21.79 per cent of Vinaconex, one of Vietnam’s leading construction firms, on December 8. Vinaconex has interests in real estate, construction, trade, and industrial manufacturing. Its sale is part of Vietnam’s broader equitization program, with the government divesting from hundreds of State-owned enterprises (SOEs) to increase State income and boost SOE performance. The government’s 21.79 per cent holding in Vinaconex, formally known as the Viet Nam Construction and Import Export Joint Stock Corp., is worth $105 million and a successful sale would reduce State ownership to 36 per cent, enough to retain veto rights. A starting price will be announced between November 28 and December 7, SCIC said in a handout to investors.

PM establishes online bidding steering committee

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has signed a Decision on the establishment of the National Steering Committee on online bidding. The steering committee will be chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung and Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung. Members are deputy ministers or equivalent, or higher at ministries, and ministerial-level agencies: the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Finance, the State Bank of Vietnam, the Ministry of Information and Communications, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Construction, the Ministry of Health, the Office of the Government, and the Government Inspectorate.

Offshore oil and gas decree released

The government has issued Decree No. 124/2017/ND-CP on offshore investment in oil and gas activities. In order to prepare for investment or to deploy a petroleum project abroad, the investor is allowed to establish or participate in the establishment of an operating company in Vietnam, in the invested country, or in a third country, in accordance with relevant laws, the petroleum contract, and international oil and gas industry practice as generally accepted.

OceanBank and Vietcombank to auction holdings

On November 20, at the Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX), the Ocean Commercial Joint Stock Bank (OceanBank) and the Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank) will auction their holdings at certain companies. OceanBank will auction VND40 billion ($1.7 million) in contributed capital, equivalent to 4 million shares or 8 per cent, in the Vietnam Petroleum Real Estate JSC at a starting price of VND10,638 per share.

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