Bureau Chief, Vietnam
John's Feed
Jun 15, 2012

China’s Yili recalls tainted milk powder, shares slump

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s biggest milk producer by revenue, Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co, has recalled baby formula tainted with “unusual” levels of mercury in the latest safety scare for the country’s dairy sector.

The recall, during China’s “Food Safety Week” and a day after the cabinet introduced fresh measures to tighten supervision of the sector, sent Yili shares down by their 10 percent daily limit.

Jun 7, 2012

Rectangle Oreos and cucumber gum, made in China for China

SUZHOU, China (Reuters) – There are no bad ideas inside Kraft Foods’ biscuit research lab in China, according to director Maggie Wang. Not even the chewing gum Oreo cookie that a colleague asked her to bite into one day.

Instead of creamy white “stuff” in the centre, a glob of gum was sandwiched neatly between a pair of Oreo’s iconic dark chocolate biscuits.

Jun 4, 2012

June 4 crackdown remembered in China stock index, or chance?

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Is it a coincidence that China’s most-watched stock index fell 64.89 points on the anniversary of the June 4, 1989, crackdown on student-led democracy protests centered on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square?

Most likely, say the experts.

Trying to work the Shanghai Composite Index .SSEC to hit a specific number would take Herculean muscle and precision, requiring a trader, or traders, to buy and sell huge quantities of blue-chip stocks with an improbable degree of exactness.

May 21, 2012

Analysis: China reformer sees his opportunity after Bo’s fall

SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) – One of China’s most conspicuously reform-minded leaders has stepped back into the spotlight after the nation’s biggest political convulsion in a generation, positioning himself to gain from the fall of populist politician Bo Xilai.

Wang Yang, leader of Guangdong province and well known for his deft handling of recent civil unrest there, is the first of three provincial-level party bosses who stand to benefit after a murder scandal snuffed out Bo’s career last month.

May 10, 2012

Apple, supplier Foxconn to share costs on improving factories

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Apple Inc and its key supplier Foxconn Technology Group will share the initial costs of improving labor conditions at the Chinese factories that assemble iPhones and iPads, Foxconn’s top executive said on Thursday.

Foxconn chief Terry Gou did not give a figure for the costs, but the group has been spending heavily to fight a perception its vast plants in China are sweatshops with poor conditions for its million-strong labor force. It regards the criticism as unfair.

May 4, 2012

Vietnam’s drive to fix its weak banks could be stalling

HANOI, May 4 (Reuters) – Moves to shrink the number of banks
in Vietnam and reform its financial sector may be stalling,
which could hurt efforts to put the country’s economy on a solid
footing for the long-term.

Four years of economic volatility and sky-high inflation,
coupled with tumbling asset prices, have put the Vietnamese
banking system under strain. Last November, State Bank of
Vietnam Governor Nguyen Van Binh said eight small banks were
“unhealthy” while in January he said 10 percent of the country’s
nearly 50 banks were “ailing.”

Feb 2, 2012

Analysis: Southeast Asia goes slow on nuclear

HANOI (Reuters) – After the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Vietnam suspended its nuclear plans and waited for more than a decade before reviving them.

But Vietnam was undeterred by last year’s Fukushima nuclear meltdown in Japan, the world’s worst atomic accident since Chernobyl, and is racing ahead with plans to start construction of its first reactor in 2014, which should go online six years later.

Feb 2, 2012

Southeast Asia goes slow on nuclear, despite energy shortage

HANOI (Reuters) – After the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Vietnam suspended its nuclear plans and waited for more than a decade before reviving them.

But Vietnam was undeterred by last year’s Fukushima nuclear meltdown in Japan, the world’s worst atomic accident since Chernobyl, and is racing ahead with plans to start construction of its first reactor in 2014, which should go online six years later.

Nov 14, 2011

Vietnam, wracked by economic woes, plans new reforms

HANOI (Reuters) – After four years of economic instability, Vietnam is embarking on reforms some believe could be its most significant since steps started in 1986 that ended stifling central planning and, eventually, turned the war-torn country into a tiger.

However, there’s substantial skepticism that policymakers can fend off resistance to major change from state-owned companies and other interest groups, including private conglomerates, whose influence has surged.

Sep 7, 2011

Analysis: Vietnam taps reserves but dong still likely to slide

HANOI (Reuters) – The Vietnamese dong looks stuck for now with the unappealing title of Asia’s worst performing currency, despite moves by the central bank to dip into foreign reserves to bolster it.

The dong’s chronic weakness has repelled foreign investors and hampered attempts by Vietnam’s policymakers to reverse the faltering fortunes of an economy that only five years ago was one of Asia’s most promising.