Private investment reaches 400 billion kip in Vientiane Capital

(KPL) Foreign and domestic private investment in Vientiane Capital has reached 400 billion kip, with 223 projects approved in the first six months of the current fiscal year. Investment by private domestic companies has outnumbered that of foreign companies. Some 214 of 223 projects are investments by local companies, according to a government report on the implementation of the socio-economic development plan in the first half of the 2012-2013 fiscal year. Most private investments were in basic infrastructure development, market-oriented agriculture and services, according to a report read by Minister of Planning and Investment, Mr. Somdy Douangdy at the 5th Ordinary Session of the National Assembly, July 8-26. Chinese investments top foreign private investment in Vientiane Capital, with Thailand, Vietnam and France, ranking second, third and fourth respectively. Companies from the Republic of Korea, the U.S.A and Australia also made investments in the first half of this year. The national economy has continued to expand in the first six months, despite uncertainties in the global economy, the report noted. It is expected that Laos will reach its 8.1 per cent growth target this fiscal year. All sectors, especially mining, hydropower, services, tourism and agriculture are trending toward increased expansion. Meanwhile, currency reserves are high with the central bank confirming the inflation rate remaining at 4.85 per cent.

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Hydropower, mining, oil and gas sectors cover 85 per cent of total investment

Investment sectors in hydropower, mining, oil and gas covered 85 per cent of total investment in Myanmar, said Aung Naing Oo, Director General of Directorate of Investment and Companies Administration in a conference held at Myanmar Investment Commission Office in July 25. (ELEVEN MEDIA)

“The main foreign investment in Myanmar is hydropower. The investment in hydropower sector has over 40 per cent of overall investment. Exploring oil and natural gas came second and has over 30 per cent of total investment. The third is the mining sector and has 7 per cent of total investment,” he said.

Myanmar has now over US$42 billion from foreign investment and China is top among foreign investors. China’s investment accounts for 34 per cent of total foreign investment. Although foreign investment in above sectors is up, investment in production and agricultural sectors has a little investment.

“Although foreign investment those three sectors are high, investment in agricultural which is the important sector for 70 per cent of total population and labour intensive industries which can create many job opportunities are low. We are trying to make investment increase in those sectors,” the director general said.

Cambodian garment export up nearly 20 pct in 1st half

The garment industry, Cambodia’s largest income earner, reported 2.51 billion US dollars in export value in the first six months of this year, a 19.5 percent rise from $2.1 billion over the same period last year, the figures of the Commerce Ministry showed Wednesday.

Cambodian apparels are mostly sold to the United States and European countries, with some to Canada, Japan, South Korea and China.

The figures said that from January to June this year, the garment exports to the United States were valued at $1.02 billion, up 10 percent year-on-year. The exports to the European nations were 862 million dollars worth, up 27 percent, and the exports to other countries were $629 million, up 27 percent. (XINHUA)

“Our garment products are mainly reliant on the US and European markets, so our export growth demonstrates better economic situations in those countries,” Khuon Savuth, an official at the Commerce Ministry’s Import-Export Inspection and Fraud Repression Department, said Wednesday.

According to the figures, garment export accounted for 80 percent of the country’s total exports.

The industry is comprised of about 500 factories with some 510, 600 workers. A worker’s monthly minimum wage is 80 dollars.

In 2012, the impoverished Southeast Asian nation earned 4.6 billion dollars from garment exports.

Large banks focus on corporate bonds

HA NOI (VNS)— The total value of corporate bonds sold during the first six months of this year has reached VND15 trillion (US$707.5 million), equivalent to 88 per cent of last year’s total, according to a report from the Bank for Investment and Development of Viet Nam (BIDV).

Property developer VIDP Group issued VND7.6 trillion ($358.4 million) in corporate bonds, mineral giant Vinacomin raised VND2.5 trillion ($117.9 million) and HCM City Infrastructure Investment (CII) issued VND1 trillion ($47.1 million) worth of bonds.

The BIDV report recorded small scale issuance of under VND100 billion ($4.7 million) from other companies. “Most of the bonds belonged to real estate firms,” the report said.

Corporate bonds were favoured by commercial banks. BIDV and Techcombank bought VND500 billion ($23.8 million) and VND3 trillion ($141.5 million) worth of bonds in VIDP Group, while all the bonds issued by CII, totalling VND1 trillion ($47.6 million), were sold to Vietcombank (VCB).

“Attractive yields have brought banks with large cash reserves to corporate bonds,” the report said. “Despite the gloomy economic situation that made it for bond issuance more difficult, large corporations are still alluring to investors.”

The supply of corporate bonds is expected to continue to rise as companies take advantage of low interest rates to raise capital. “Along with increasing supply, demand will be large, especially for bonds from reputable businesses,” the report said.

Bond yields for three to five-year terms range from 13-15 per cent.

Meanwhile, Government bonds were less attractive, according to Viet Dragon Securities Co. Government bonds during the first six months yielded about 6-9 per cent. Declining yields discouraged investors, especially banks.

In June and the beginning of this month, foreign investors sold Government bonds with a net value of VND7.2 trillion ($339.6 million). — VNS

UK to invest in Myanmar’s oil, gas and travel sectors

The United Kingdom has pledged to invest over US$385 million in Myanmar in two years time, according to statistics of the Directorate of Investment and Company Registration. (ELEVEN MEDIA)

The UK invested over US$2659.954 million in March 2011, and the investment is increased to over US$3045.434 million in June 2013. China is still the biggest investor in Myanmar with more than US$14 billion. The UK is standing in 5th place behind China, Thailand, Hong Kong and South Korea.

The UK is making investment in nine sectors in 2013. On June 12 the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) gave permission to UK-based Leisure Holdings Asia Ltd. to organise river cruises between Yangon, Mandalay, Began, Banmaw, Mawlite and Homemalin. On May 10 the MIC is also allowed the joint venture of UK based HC (Asia) Holding Co. Ltd. and a Myanmar company to establish a production plant of plastic bottles in Mingalardon Industrial Zone.

During his trip to the UK, Myanmar President Thein Sein invited UK companies to invest more. Myanmar has plenty of natural resources and needs foreign investment to develop into an industrialised country like UK.

Vietnam’s economy ranks 42nd in the world

VietNamNet Bridge – With the gross domestic product (GDP) estimated from purchasing power parity (PPP) calculations equivalent to $322 billion, Vietnam’s economy ranks 6th in Southeast Asia, after Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore.

According to the rankings announced last week by the World Bank, the U.S. remains the largest economy in the world with GDP last year reached $15.7 trillion. It is followed by China with about $12.5 trillion, India with $4.8 trillion and Japan with $4.5 trillion.

Russia overtook Germany to become the 5th largest economy in the world with $3.4 trillion. The figure for Germany is $3.3 trillion.

In Southeast Asia, the biggest economy is Indonesia (16th) with more than $1.223 trillion, followed by Thailand (21st) with more than $655 billion, Malaysia (26th), the Philippines (29th) and Singapore (39th). Vietnam ranks 42nd, behind Singapore, with more than $322 billion dollars.

The World Bank’s rankings of 177 economies is different from the rankings based on nominal GDP of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

According to the IMF, the U.S. and China still top the list with over $15.7 and $8.2 trillion. The following economies are Japan, Germany, France, England, Brazil and Russia. Vietnam ranks 51st in the list with nominal GDP of over $141 billion.