is scheduled to slash 1,800 import taxes from January 1, including cutting duties on rubber, seafood and textile products to zero percent,
newspaper reported, citing the Finance Ministry.
* Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Joint-Stock Bank may sell as much as a 15 percent stake to Credit Suisse Group AG, the Vietnamese lender's Chief Executive Officer said. Sacombank, as the lender is known, will start negotiations with Zurich-based Credit Suisse on a sale next month, Tran Xuan Huy said in a phone interview on Wednesday. He declined to comment on the value of the stake or timing of the transaction.
* Vung Ro Petroleum has received land from the Phu Yen Province People's Committee to build a four- million-ton-a-year oil refinery, according to the Vietnam Investment Review, citing a company official. The company is a joint venture between the UK-based Technostar Management Ltd. and Russia's Telloil Group. The US$1.7 billion refinery project was licensed in 2007 and has been delayed because of site-clearance issues.
* China Development Bank has signed a commitment letter with Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam, or BIDV, for a $200 million loan, according to an e-mailed statement from BIDV. The five-year loan will be used for BIDV's projects, including those in electricity, telecommunications and agriculture, according to the statement.
* Vietnam will establish a working group that will aim to improve the country's sovereign credit rating, Finance Minister Vuong Dinh Hue said in a statement on Tuesday. Moody's Investors Service has a negative outlook on the country's B1 credit rating, four levels below investment grade.
* The consumer price index in Hanoi this month rose 0.61 percent from November, while the index in Ho Chi Minh City increased 0.73 percent, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported, citing statistics departments of the cities.
* Vietnam will reap 21.25 million bags of coffee this season, 9 percent more than a year earlier, according to a Bloomberg survey of 10 traders, growers and exporters. Each bag weighs 60 kilograms (132 pounds). Growers have harvested 50 percent to 65 percent of the 2011-2012 crop, F.O. Licht GmbH said in a report dated December 20.
* The Finance Ministry has found that major Vietnamese importers of oil products made smaller losses than they previously reported. Petrolimex, the largest fuel trader with a market share of around 60 percent, had reported losses of VND1.8 trillion ($85.7 million) in the first six months. However, the actual loss was only around VND1.3 trillion, according to the ministry. The disparity existed because the importer paid higher commissions to retailers than allowed, the ministry said.