* The Ho Chi Minh City tax department will publicize the names of foreign-invested companies that have reported losses in consecutive years but have signs that they may be hiding profits, said Nguyen Trong Hanh, deputy director of the department. More than 1,100 foreign-invested companies in the city reported losses in 2009, doubling from 2007, but the department said it suspects they have hidden around VND6 trillion (US$307.7 million) in profit.
* Qatar Petroleum International and Japan's Itochu Corp will join in the construction of Vietnam's third refinery, Long Son, in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Dau Tu (Investment) newspaper reported, citing a source. Thailand's Siam Cement Group, which holds a 71 percent stake in the project, may sell 30 percent to the two new partners.
* Vietnam, the second-largest rice exporter, will ship more than 6.5 million metric tons of the grain this year. Production hasn't been affected by floods, Cao Duc Phat, the minister of agriculture and rural development, said at an international rice conference in Hanoi on Tuesday. The government has a target to ship between 5.5 million and six million tons this year.
* Loans for real estate projects in Ho Chi Minh City during the first 10 months of this year jumped 25.12 percent from the same period last year to VND99.41 trillion ($5.1 billion), or 15.2 percent of all loans extended by banks in the city, central bank data showed.
* The Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) has signed an agreement with state-run Vietnam Development Bank for a VND1.09 trillion loan to invest in its Vinasat-2 satellite. The loan will cover 20 percent of the total cost for the project, news website VietnamNet reported.
* The National Assembly has approved the government's 2011 socio-economic plan that sets an economic growth target of 7-7.5 percent and seeks to keep inflation below 7 percent. The plan also targets a budget deficit of 5.3 percent of Vietnam's gross domestic product, or VND120.6 trillion. The parliament has also agreed to a government proposal to raise minimum wages from VND730,000 to VND830,000 a month, effective May 1.
* New York-based hotel and resort management firm Starwood has announced its latest agreement with local firm Robin-Hill Resorts to develop a resort in Dalat, the tourism hotspot in the Central Highlands. The new project further strengthens its regional position in the international upscale hotels business, it said. Scheduled to open in 2015, the $25 million resort will cover 45 acres in a forested valley covered with pine trees.