Monday, November 19, 2007

Vietnam's so hot right now...

A Canadian financial journalist is in town and he says "surf's up".

But if someone's friend's friend's friend says its safe to surf is it safe to surf?
With many newly privatized companies releasing little reliable financial information, surfers often buy and sell on the basis of rumour and hearsay. "They'll say things like, 'My friend has an uncle who has a sister who's married to a guy who bought this stock,' " says Mark Djandjy, a Canadian who is head of research for Ho Chi Minh City's Horizon Security Analysis.

Surfer Pham Thanh Tung, 29, says he has increased his money 11 times since he started trading a couple of years ago. "It's easy to buy, easy to sell," he says, "I give you money and you give me stocks - nobody knows."

Another surfer, Trinh Tuan Vu, 26, says he once walked into a café with six billion Vietnamese dong, the local currency, in three ordinary plastic shopping bags. That's nearly $400,000 (US).

And what's that got to do with the price of cabbage, says you.... Well, while its good surf for some the auld dears ain't so happy with ... well, the price of cabbage.

Snippets from the local press...

Police in Hanoi arrested an employee of the Noi Bai Airport Joint Stock Cargo Services Company (NCS) after mysterious disappearance and subsequent reappearance of two boxes containing $1 million from warehouses at Noi Bai Airport early last week. The saga began yesterday at the warehouses operated by NCS when the two boxes arrived at 10:30 a.m last week. Techcombank was the intended receiver of the currency. However no one from the bank was there to retrieve the packages when the money arrived. At noon, the employee reported that the packages had suspiciously vanished. The contents were approximately $900,000 worth of Euro along with other foreign currencies. Police came to the scene to investigate. By 4pm the boxes were surprisingly located in another area of the warehouse. Four suspects including Thang were detained by police for questioning and he confessed to having moved the boxes himself

Please can I go to prison
The vice Director of Nhat Tan Co Ltd which specialised in import-export activities, has submitted an application to be jailed along with his brother, the director of the company, to “avoid tax payment” due to what he called the indifference attitude of the taxation authorities in his locality.

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