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Economy May 06, 2016 01:00

By Asia News Network

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Vietnam’s prime minister welcomes US businesses

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has expressed hope that US companies operating in the country will be successful.

He also pledged the best possible conditions for foreign investors, including those from the US.

At a reception for a delegation of US investors led by William Weidner, chairman and CEO of Global Gaming Asset Management and principal of Weidner Holdings, in Hanoi on Wednesday, the prime minister hailed the performance of US businesses in Vietnam and their contributions to promoting the relationship between the two countries.

Highlighting the opportunities purportedly afforded by the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Weidner said US businesses wanted Vietnam to become the world’s investment-attraction gateway.

US businesses expect to build a modern trade centre in Ho Chi Minh City, he said. – Viet Nam News

Drought, slower credit

hamper I’nesia’s Q1 growth

Shifting harvests due to drought and slower bank loan disbursement triggered Indonesia’s economic slowdown in the first quarter of this year, Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution has said.

The Central Statistics Agency reported that the economy grew 4.92 per cent in the first quarter, below Bank Indonesia’s expectation of 5.1 per cent. On a quarterly basis, GDP growth contracted 0.23 percentage point from 5.04 per cent.

“The growth in the first quarter was not as high as that in the fourth quarter last year due to these factors,” Darmin said at his office in Jakarta on Tuesday. – The Jakarta Post

Malaysia’s LRT 3 project starts this month

Malaysia’s 9-billion-ringgit (Bt79 billion) LRT 3 project from Bandar Utama to Johan Setia, Klang, will kick off this month, with some 96 companies being shortlisted for the various jobs. To build the 37-kilometre light-rail-transit infrastructure that comprises stations, viaducts, and park-and ride-facilities, 44 companies have been shortlisted and have been broken up into two segments.

And 22 companies have been shortlisted to bid for the large infrastructure jobs. – The Star

Temasek unit backs |diamond start-up

Singapore state investment company Temasek Holdings is throwing its weight behind a diamond exchange that began trading here yesterday, backing the project through venture-capital unit Vertex Venture Holdings.

Bloomberg reported that investors could trade single stones as well as so-called baskets of investment-grade diamonds electronically for physical settlement, the Singapore Diamond Investment Exchange said in a statement. At first, the exchange aims to support spot trading, with plans for derivatives and exchange-traded products.

The move signals a shift away from a centuries-old system where diamonds are largely traded manually and bilaterally in marketplace-style bourses, according to the exchange. Investors with little access to pricing information in the past will now have a benchmark price to value diamonds as an asset, it said.

Vertex Venture, a wholly owned unit of Temasek, is among the backers, it said, without giving details. – The Straits Times

Vietnam backs Samsung group’s expansion

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has said he supports Samsung group’s further expansion of investment in Vietnam to other fields besides electronics, suggesting such industries as energy, seaports, healthcare, infrastructure, science and technology.

 During a reception for Samsung group’s president and CEO Shin Jong-kyun in Hanoi yesterday, the PM noted that Samsung was the biggest single foreign investor in Vietnam with six projects valued at US$14.86 billion (Bt522 billion). The group’s projects have contributed to Vietnam’s import-export turnover while creating jobs for more than 130,000 locals. –Viet Nam News