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Samson: Vietnam : Credit growth of 14% a feasible target for 2019
2nd February, 2019
The country’s credit growth target of 14 per cent set for this year, the same rate as last year, was reasonable and achievable, economists said.
Nguyễn Đức Thành, Director of the Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research under the Vietnam National University - Hanoi’s University of Economics and Business, said credit expansion is expected to remain stable this year at around 14 per cent.
According to Thành, there is no reason for a higher credit growth this year when the economy is still gaining a good growth rate without needing capital.
Thành explained that previously, Việt Nam’s economic growth often relied heavily on increased credit, however, things have changed. Now, the economy can grow without strong lending, particularly when the supporting industry as well as the services and agricultural sectors are becoming more attractive to foreign investors. “When credit use improves, there should be a better credit growth policy in the long term,” Thành suggested.
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Samson: Vietnam : Securities, bond markets set for strong 2019
31st January, 2019
SSC chairman Trần Văn Dũng. He predicts the stock market will continue its strong development this year thanks to positive macroeconomic fundamentals
Trần Văn Dũng, chairman of the State Securities Commission, speaks to Vietnam News Agency about the securities market’s prospects this year following negative growth in 2018.
What’s your assessment of the size and quality of the stock and bond markets?
The Vietnamese economy developed strongly in 2018 with macroeconomic indicators such as GDP growth, import-export turnover, inflation, the exchange rate, interest rate and budget spending meeting or beating targets set by the National Assembly.
The securities market, despite seeing a strong decline due to the volatility of global stock markets, recorded increases in market capitalisation and trading liquidity. It remained a key fund-raising channel for private firms and made great contributions to overall economic development.
The stock market value reached VNĐ3.96 quadrillion (US$170.3 billion) in 2018, up 12.7 per cent year-on-year. The figure was equal to 72 per cent of the nation’s total GDP and outperformed the NA target set for 2020 (70 per cent). The average trading value of stocks and fund certificates was VNĐ6.55 trillion in each session, up 29 per cent year-on-year, and total value of newly-listing shares gained 12.8 per cent to VNĐ1.21 quadrillion.
Despite recent growth, the size of the Vietnamese stock market was smaller than those of other regional markets such as Thailand ($548 billion), Malaysia ($456 billion) and Singapore ($787 billion). In each of those countries, the value of the stock market was more than 100 per cent of its total GDP.
There was also a strong development on the Vietnamese bond market in 2018. There were 573 listed bonds with total value of VNĐ1.12 quadrillion, up 10.4 per cent year-on-year. Of the figure, the value of government bonds (G-bonds) accounted for 98 per cent of the total and the remaining were corporate bonds. The size of the Vietnamese bond market was equal to 35.2 per cent of Việt Nam’s total GDP, which was also modest compared to other regional and international bond markets such as Malaysia (97.7 per cent), Singapore (86 per cent), the Republic of Korea (125.7 per cent) and Japan (211.4 per cent).
What opportunities and challenges face the Vietnamese securities market in 2019?
We have to be aware of external factors that could impact the domestic securities market though it is predicted to receive intense support from the stability of the macroeconomy and last year’s market performance.
Concerns include the unpredictability of the US-China trade tensions that may have negative effects on global trade, economy and capital flow, and the upcoming interest rate increases of the Federal Reserve, which may raise capital expenses on foreign investors, forcing them to run away from emerging markets like Việt Nam.
Regarding internal factors, there is a big chance for the Vietnamese securities market this year. The development, management and operation of the market have gained special attention from the Government, the Prime Minister and officials.
At a Government meeting last year, the Prime Minister emphasised the importance of institutional reform and the development of the private sector. The co-working of ministries and sectors with the combination of fiscal and monetary policies has proved effective and helped stabilise the macroeconomy and the securities market.
The Government recently issued Resolution 01/NQ-CP, which mentions the further development of the securities market through new financial and securities products, and the equitisation, restructuring and listing of State-owned enterprises.
The development of the private sector, improvement of the business environment and enhancement of SOE equitisation in 2019 are expected to provide the securities market with a huge load of high-quality options.
In addition, the Vietnamese economy is forecast to perform better in 2019 as it is lifted by the profound fundamentals achieved in previous years. Budget spending, interest rates and inflation are being kept at acceptable levels and the ongoing development of the amended Law on Securities is expected to help improve the market in the near future.
Under the management of the Government, the Ministry of Finance and the State Securities Commission (SSC), with the presence and participation of market members, I believe the Vietnamese securities market will seize its opportunities to foster future growth. The SSC will continue co-operating with other ministries and agencies to create a good legal system to lure foreign capital to the market.
What policies has the SSC adopted to guide market development in 2019?
To shape a stable, sustainable and efficient securities market in 2019, the SSC will implement both long-term and short-term solutions to make it healthier and stronger. In 2019, the top priority is to get the amended Law on Securities and related instructions approved, such as the instructional document on handling securities violations approved by the National Assembly.
The SSC will also enhance the restructuring of the securities market, complete tasks to establish the Vietnam Stock Exchange, and restructure the operation of brokerage and asset management firms by reducing their numbers and improving their quality. The SSC will also promote solutions to upgrade Việt Nam from a “frontier market” to an “emerging market” by the standards set by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) and the Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE).
The policies will focus on luring foreign capital and foreign investors, resolving problems with foreign ownership caps by issuing the revised Law on Securities, and developing additional securities products to draw more participation of foreign investors in the market. The SSC will also work with market members and other government agencies to improve transparency, and reduce administrative procedures to make trading faster and more precise for foreign investors, saving them time, effort and expense.
The commission will co-operate with ratings organisations, including the MSCI, to update information about the Vietnamese securities market and provide international organisations with a clearer, more insightful outlook of the Vietnamese market.
In addition, the SSC will promote the Vietnamese securities market as a transparent and sustainable entity to international investors and ratings organisations.
In 2019, the SSC will continue working with local bourses to launch covered warrant, g-bond futures and other stock index futures like the current four VN30 Index-referred futures. LINK
Samson: Vietnam : Central bank to ease lending rates
2nd February, 2019
The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) buying net US$4 billion in January may be the way to lower Vietnamese đồng lending rates.
The data was announced at the Government’s monthly meeting on Thursday.
To achieve such a result, the central bank in late November 2018 sold greenback futures that would be delivered in late January 2019 to raise the market supply of dollars, vneconomy.vn reported on Friday.
Then on the first working day of 2019 (January 2), the central bank for the first time in a year raised its purchasing rate by VNĐ500 to VNĐ23,200 for a dollar from the last-day rate of 2018.
As of December 31, 2018, the purchasing rate for a US dollar set by the SBV was VNĐ22,700. The rate was cut by VNĐ10 on February 8, 2018.
In addition to the two technical measures, the central bank also increased the gap between Vietnamese đồng and dollar interest rates on the interbank market, making Vietnamese đồng more attractive for savings and thus balance the foreign exchange rate with the dollar.
After a month, the central bank was able to lure a huge amount of US dollars for its reserves, proving the supply of foreign currency in Viet Nam had been great and consolidating and helping transform a part of foreign currency held in the economy in recent years.
But SBV may not stop buying dollars from the market, not only to increase its foreign reserves but also to lower the đồng lending rates.
Buying $4 billion means SBV had to inject a huge amount of Vietnamese đồng into the market, which would help balance the market demand-supply during the Tet period – the peak season for making payments – and create additional supply of cash for lenders – who accepted mortgages from borrowers.
Local commercial banks have recently cut their đồng-based lending rates. For example, the Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank) on January 9 cut its lending rate for short-term loans by 0.5 per cent to 6 per cent.
Vietnamese đồng-based interest rates have been kept more attractive than the dollar-based ones, raising expectations that cash would flow back into commercial banks after the festival was over, and thus, easing the lending rates among commercial banks.
Between late 2018 and late January 2019, đồng-based interbank offered rates kept increasing to 5.19 per cent per year, twice the dollar-based offered rate on the same market.
Between commercial banks and individual and institutional clients, đồng-based offered interest rates showed signs of increasing to 8.5-8.7 per cent per annum for long-term savings.
In 2018, many central banks had to increase interest rates and depreciate domestic currencies to deal with the stronger dollar and the outflow of foreign capital.
During last year, the global markets became used to the Federal Reserve’s rate increase plan as it reflected the “hawkish view” of Fed officials, strengthened the dollar against other currencies and resulted in the outflow of foreign capital from emerging markets.
On January 30, the Fed signalled it may stop raising rates and global analysts saw that could be the end of the rate hike plan. And it may even mean the Fed would cut rates if needed. LINK
Samson: Vietnam to create favourable conditions for private firms
7th February, 2019
Vân Đồn International Airport, developed by private Sun Group, was put into operation on December 30, 2018. Việt Nam will continue to hasten efforts of improving the business climate to promote the development of the private sector
Việt Nam will continue to hasten efforts to improve the business climate in terms of quality to create favourable conditions for the private sector to play its role as a driver in promoting rapid and sustainable economic growth.
The country targeted to have one million firms by 2020, of which, there would be a lot of large private corporations who were arising strongly in both domestic and international markets in key sectors like manufacturing, aviation, finance and banking, agriculture and telecommunications.
According to Nguyễn Xuân Thắng, Hồ Chí Minh National Academy of Politics, the private sector was still facing difficulties in accessing resources, market opportunities and advanced technologies.
President and CEO of Vietjet Nguyễn Thị Phương Thảo said at the Việt Nam Economic Forum 2019 that Việt Nam in recent years had sent a strong message about building a constructive government with open mechanisms for the private sector.
However, Thảo said it was necessary to speed up the privatisation of State-owned enterprises (SOEs) and the restructuring of the banking sector to minimise the negative impacts on macro-finance and growth prospects.
Thảo also urged the Government to develop mechanisms and policies to exploit resources of the private sector for infrastructure development and enable them to grasp opportunities from Industry 4.0 to enhance productivity.
The private sector should be encouraged to participate in what they could do well, Thảo said, stressing that private firms expected to have a fair playground with other economic sectors.
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc said in a dialogue at the World Economic Forum in Davos that the private economic sector was an important driver for growth of Việt Nam amid an anticipated slow-down of the global economy.
Phúc added that attracting foreign direct investment together with enhancing linkage with the domestic sector also played a significant role in promoting economic development.
According to Ousmane Dione, World Bank Vietnam’s Country Director, Việt Nam faced a significant opportunity in upgrading its domestic value contribution to capture the benefits of FDI inflows and global value chains. This required enhancing linkages with the domestic economy, he stressed.
Vũ Đại Thắng, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, said that the goal of having one million firms by 2020 was within reach, given the efforts of improving the business climate.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment recently made public a draft law to amend the Law on Investment and the Law on Enterprise, which aimed to create favourable conditions for the businesses and private sector to develop.
Việt Nam set goal of increasing the contribution of the private sector to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) to 50 per cent by 2020, 55 per cent by 2025 and 60-65 per cent by 2030. Every year, the private sector generated 1.2 million jobs and contributed 43 per cent to GDP. LINK