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* Suzuki Motor Corp. will spend 1 billion yen (US$139 million) to build a car plant in Vietnam with an initial annual capacity of 5,000 units, according to a statement on its website Wednesday.

* Vietnam's central bank asked lenders to report on loans to local companies with foreign direct investment and loans for overseas investment which were effective as of October 31, according to a statement posted Tuesday on its website. The reports are due November 30.

* Shareholders of Vincom Joint-Stock Co. and Vinpearl Joint-Stock Co. have approved for the companies to merge as Vietnam Investment Group Joint-Stock Co. next year, according to a statement e-mailed by Vincom Tuesday. Under the merger, Vincom will issue new shares in February and each Vinpearl share will be swapped for 0.77 of a Vincom share, according to the statement. The new company will also be known as Vingroup.

* More than 2,800 companies in Hanoi have shut down so far in 2011 due to economic difficulties, six times more than in the same period a year ago, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported, citing Nguyen Van Tu, deputy head of Hanoi department for planning and investment.

* Bibica Corp., a Vietnamese confectioner, raised its annual sales target 5 percent as increasing individual incomes boost demand for the company's sweets including cakes for celebrating New Year. Gross sales may reach VND1.05 trillion ($50 million) this year, compared with an initial target of VND1 trillion, Deputy General Director Phan Van Thien said.

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