News Bulletin 63 - Week 3, May 2021

The past week experienced increased Covid-19 cases as Vietnam continues to deal with the surging 4th wave. As a result, quarantine period was extended from 14 days to 21 days for new arrivals into the country. This latest outbreak is a setback for the country hoping to ease travel restrictions.

While the pandemic is still going on, overseas Vietnamese continue to remit more money back to Vietnam, with more than USD17 billion being sent to Vietnam in 2020.

The past week spotlight

Public debt remains under control

Amid massive difficulties hitting domestic production, Vietnam has continued bringing public debt under its control, ensuring national financial security.

The government has recently sent a report on the national budget to the National Assembly (NA), stating that as of late 2020, the economy's public debt was equivalent to 55.3% of GDP, in which foreign debt held 47.3% of GDP, lower than the cap assigned by the NA in the financial plan for the 2016-2020 period.

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Let’s look at some other related financial and business news during the past week:

1. Banks dominate Vietnam’s profit makers list

Seven banks are in the list of Top 10 most profitable listed companies in Q1, recording increases in pre-tax profits. Topping the list are two stated-owned lenders Vietcombank and VietinBank. The former recorded VND8.6 trillion ($373.9 million) in pre-tax profits, up 65 percent year-on-year, while the latter posted VND8 trillion, up 171 percent.

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2. Aviation authority wants caps removed on domestic ticket prices

"Ceiling prices will limit airlines from improving flight service quality. This will affect the airlines’ ability to compete on quality of service, an important factor in sustainable development," CAAV, stated in a report submitted to the Ministry of Transport.

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3. Thanh Hóa attracting more agriculture investment

According to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Thanh Hoa has attracted 176 investment projects, covering 3,700ha with a total investment of more than VND20 trillion in agriculture including seven foreign direct investment (FDI) projects with a total investment of nearly VND3.9 trillion

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4. Vietnam mobile e-commerce to value $10.2 billion by 2023

Vietnam’s mobile e-commerce is rapidly growing with an estimated value of US$10.2 billion by 2023, according to 2021 Vietnam Mobile Application Report, conducted by the market research company Appota.

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5. Vietnamese abroad send more than $17 billion home in remittances in 2020

Vietnamese abroad sent home US$17.2 billion worth of remittances in 2020, making Việt Nam the third-largest remittance recipient in the East Asia and Pacific region, according to the Migration and Development Brief released early this week by the World Bank and the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD).

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6. Việt Nam earns $362 million from rice exports in April

The volume of rice exported last month is estimated at 700,000 tonnes with a value of US$362 million. This brought the total volume of rice exported in the first four months of this year to 1.9 million tonnes, worth $1.01 billion, down 10.8 per cent in volume but up 1.2 per cent in value year-on-year.

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7. More banks collaborate with fintech firms to develop embedded finance in Vietnam

A growing number of banks and fintech firms are forming partnership to implement embedded finance in Vietnam. Embedded finance is critical because it allows for professional and safe financial operations to be directly put into any platform.

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8. New green growth strategy to promote carbon-neutral economy

The Ministry of Planning and Investment is working with relevant ministries, sectors, and localities to draft a national strategy on green growth for 2021-2030 and vision to 2050.

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9. Central bank calls for tightening credit for property and securities

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has asked credit institutions and branches of foreign banks to tighten their loans for property and securities so as to ensure operational safety and minimise risks.

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10. Finance Ministry asks localities to enhance price stabilization

Due to the complicated Covid-19 situation, MOF has written to the governments of provinces and cities asking them to enhance price stabilization and management following Deputy PM Le Minh Khai’s directive on price governance in 2021.

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