* Vietnam will produce the first alumina from a bauxite complex in the Central Highlands this September, after months of delays caused by adverse weather, power shortages and slow equipment delivery, Vietnam News Agency reported on Wednesday. The country's first alumina plant in Lam Dong Province is now due to produce its first product on September 20, the report said, quoting Tran Duong Le, deputy director of the complex's management board.
* An Binh Bank, the Vietnamese lender partly owned by Malayan Banking Bhd, said its first-half profit was VND307.6 billion (US$14.9 million), and it expects profit for the year to reach VND664 billion. An Binh, which plans to list in the fourth quarter, didn't give comparative figures for profit. Its assets totaled VND39 trillion as of June 30, a 22 percent increase from a year earlier, according to a statement on its website citing chief executive Tran Thanh Hoa.
* Natural rubber production in Vietnam, the world's fifth largest grower, may surge to 1.4 million tons by 2020 as high prices spur plantings, according to the Vietnam Rubber Association. Output is on course to total 780,000 tons this year, compared with 754,500 tons in 2010, Tran Thi Thuy Hoa, the association's secretary general, said in an interview in Bangkok on Tuesday.
* The Ministry of Finance will cut the import tariff on raw cashews to 3 percent from 5 percent, starting August 25, according to a statement on the government website.
* Month-on-month inflation in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City accelerated in July, online newswire VnEconomy reported, citing statistics offices. Hanoi's consumer price index climbed 1.32 percent in July from last month, while HCMC's prices gained 1.07 percent, according to the report.
* Coffee exporters in Vietnam, the world's largest producer of the robusta variety, have delayed shipments of 670,000 bags of 60 kilograms (132 pounds), German researcher F.O. Licht said, citing unidentified traders. The shipments were delayed because of "thin domestic stocks and a jump in local market prices beyond export levels," Licht said in a July 1-18 report.
* Sacombank Securities Joint-Stock Co., Vietnam's fifth-largest brokerage, posted a net loss of VND159 billion ($7.7 million) in the first half of the year, it said in a statement on its website on Wednesday.