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* Vincom Joint-Stock Co., the country's largest listed property company, said it plans to issue 158.23 million new shares to swap for a 100 percent stake of Vinpearl Joint Stock Co in a merger deal. Vinpearl, with a registered capital of more than VND2 trillion (US$95.2 million), is operating several resorts in Nha Trang, Da Nang and Hoi An. The merger will increase Vincom's capital by VND1.582 trillion, from the current VND3.9 trillion.

* Vietnamese software developers have recommended that one of the best ways to create high-quality technology jobs is to reduce the country's software piracy rate from 83 percent to a figure more in line with the regional average of 60 percent, the Business Software Alliance said in a new report. According to the industry advocacy group, software developers agree that Vietnam has the human capital required to become a dynamic and influential player in the global software industry.

* Kian Home Center, a furniture company in Ho Chi Minh City, is offering big discounts and give-aways next week to celebrate its seventh anniversary. All high-end products will be discounted 15-60 percent on November 11 at Kian Home Center, 803 Nguyen Van Linh Boulevard, District 7. Between November 11-13, sofas, children's furniture and high-end leather products will be down 40 percent during certain hours.

* FPT Securities Joint-Stock Co., a brokerage unit of FPT Corp., Vietnam's biggest publicly traded telecommunication and software company, plans to list 55 million shares on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange on December 13, Chief Executive Officer Nguyen Diep Tung said Wednesday. The company may set an initial price of VND20,000 to VND23,000 a share. That would value the company at as much as VND1.27 trillion ($60.4 million).

* Manila Water Co., a water utility company, is exploring business ventures in Vietnam, the company said in a statement to the stock exchange Wednesday. The unit of Ayala Corp. confirmed a Philippine Daily Inquirer report, which quoted Manila Water President Gerardo Ablaza as saying that the company "continuously explores possible business opportunities" outside its concession area.

* Japan International Cooperation Agency, known as JICA, signed loan agreements with Vietnam totaling $1.16 billion on Wednesday, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported, without saying where it got the information. Proceeds from the loans will be used to fund Vietnamese projects including the Nghi Son hydropower plants and highway developments, according to the report.

* The National Assembly's Finance and Budget Committee asked the country's state auditor to audit foreign loans at some state-owned companies next year, as there's concern on the efficiency of their utilization, said Dinh Van Nha, deputy head of the committee.

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