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Jan 13. 2019
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By Asia News Network

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Tet bonuses in HCM City rise by 30 per cent

The Tet (Lunar New Year) bonuses of enterprises in Ho Chi Minh City will rise an average of 30 per cent compared to the same period last year, according to the city’s Department of Labour, Invalid and Social Affairs.

Le Minh Tan, director of the department, said that more than 2,000 enterprises that employ about 415,000 people were surveyed about Tet bonuses.

The average Tet bonus will be 10.8 million dongs(Bt14,841,US$465), about one month of salary for some employees. Last year, the average Tet bonus was 8 million dongs(US$344).

This year the highest Tet bonus of 1.17 billion dongs (US$50,453) will be offered by a foreign direct-invested (FDI) banking company.

For New Year bonuses, the average bonus will be 3.4 million dongs ($146), an increase of 28 per cent compared to last year, while the average bonus at FDI enterprises will be 9.4 million dongs ($405), an increase of nearly 70 per cent.

In addition, many enterprises will offer higher bonuses on senior workers and advance part of the salary before Tet.

For example, PouYuen Vietnam Co, Ltd will provide a Tet bonus of one to two months of salary. The company will spend 1 trillion dongs ($43 million) to reward more than 65,800 workers, and will also allow workers to advance a part of their salary to prepare for Tet. – Viet Nam News 

Cambodia posts 1.5% dip in 2018 rice exports 

Cambodian rice exports saw a 1.5 per cent drop last year compared to 2017 due to the industry’s lingering challenges – the cost of production and competition with the international market.

Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries figures show that the country exported 626,225 tonnes of rice last year, decreasing 1.5 per cent from 635,679 tonnes in 2017.

According to the figures, the main destinations for rice exports were the EU with a total of 269,127 tonnes and China with 170,154 tonnes.

Ministry spokesman Srey Vuthy said high production costs hindered competition with an international market.

“Despite rice facilities already being developed for the rice industry, our rice exports are still decreasing.”

Phou Puy, CEO of Thaneakea Srov (Kampuchea) Plc, one of the Kingdom’s major rice exporters, which is headquartered in Battambang province, noted that while his company continues to see an increase in rice exports, the Kingdom’s exports show an overall decrease.

He said the decrease is due to limited paddy buying capacity, as rice millers and exporters face stiff competition for the price of their paddy from brokers of neighbouring countries. – The Phnom Penh Post 

Govt allocates 5% of VAT collections for refund claims

Value-added tax (VAT) refunds now have a steady source of funds as the Philippine government has allotted 5 per cent of all VAT collections by the country’s two biggest revenue agencies for that purpose.

Joint Circular No 1-2018 issued by the Department of Finance (DOF), Department of Budget and Management, Bureau of the Treasury, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Bureau of Customs (BOC) and Commission on Audit (COA) implemented the provisions of Republic Act No 10963, or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act on VAT refunds.

Under the TRAIN law, 5 per cent of the combined VAT collections of the BIR and the BOC will be treated as trust receipts to cover VAT refund claim payments.

The payments covered included VAT refunds issued by the BIR, import VAT refunds issued by the BOC and the VAT drawback on importation jointly issued by the BOC and the One-Stop Shop Interagency Tax Credit and Duty Drawback Centre.

Under the rules, the BOC and the BIR must notify the Treasury not later than January 15 every year the initial amount to be transferred from the general account to the trust receipt account to cover VAT refund payments.

With VAT refund claims to be sufficiently covered, the BOC and the BIR were expected to ensure payments of all claims.

“The BIR and BOC shall ensure and facilitate processing of claims and issuance of checks due to the concerned taxpayer-claimants to the amount of their claim for tax refund, net of any outstanding VAT delinquencies,” the circular read. – Philippine Daily Inquirer 

Customers can top up Mandiri e-money at Pos Indonesia 

Indonesia’s state-owned lender Bank Mandiri has signed a cooperation agreement with state-owned postal company PT Pos Indonesia to enable its customers to top up their pre-paid e-money cards at all outlets of the postal company across the country.

“Bank Mandiri will also cooperate with other organisations to give customers more alternatives to top up their cards,” Mandiri senior executive vice president for consumer and transaction Jasmin said on the sidelines of the recent signing ceremony in Jakarta.

Currently, customers can top up their e-money cards at the bank’s ATMs and at Indomart convenience stores.

Jasmin claimed that Mandiri was a pioneer in the use of pre-paid cards in Indonesia. As of December 2018, the bank had issued 16.4 million e-money cards, which can be used with more than 45,000 merchants.

The bank has opened 60,000 top-up locations at its own branches, ATMs and minimarkets.

The number of transactions using the e-money cards was 1.1 billion in 2018 with a total value of 13.4 trillion rupiah (US$952.99 million).

Meanwhile, PT Pos Indonesia financial director Eddi Santosa said the company has 4,800 outlets across the country. – The Jakarta Post 

Bank employees offered 0% housing loan on first $100,000 ringgit

Bank employees in Malaysia will soon enjoy 0 per cent interest on their housing loans for the first 100,000 ringgit (Bt779,478, $24,423).

All member banks under the Malayan Commercial Banks’ Association (MCBA) have agreed to grant the benefit, effective April 1.

The benefit was offered in the new collective agreement (CA) inked by MCBA and the National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE).

MCBA president Nora Abd Manaf said it is hoped that the waiver of interest for the first 100,000 ringgit will help more employees to earn their dream home earlier.

The new benefit aims to raise the disposable income of employees, especially those in the B40 category and to support he government’s effort to increase home ownership among lower-income communities.

The 0 per cent interest rates also applies to employees who have existing staff housing loans.

Under the new CA, employees of MCBA member banks will also receive a salary adjustment of up to 12 per cent.

Clerical employees will receive a 10 per cent adjustment while non-clerical employees will receive 12 per cent.

The starting salary of different employee groups covered in the CA will also be adjusted up by 12 per cent to 16 per cent, with their maximum salary raised by 16 per cent.- The Star 

Indonesia to offer debt papers worth up to $1.07 bn

The Finance Ministry will offer government debt papers (SUN) next Tuesday with the indicative and maximum target of 15 trillion rupiah (Bt34.15 billion, US$1.07 billion) and 30 trillion rupiah respectively to finance the 2019 state budget.

According to data issued by the Finance Ministry’s Financing and Risk Management Directorate General, there are six series of SUN that will be auctioned, namely SPN03190416, SPN12200106, FR0077, FR0078, FR0068 and FR0079.

The SPN03190416 is the newest series that will mature on April 16, 2019, and would be offered through a discounted coupon rate, while the SPN12200106 series will mature on January 6, 2020, also offered on a discounted coupon rate.

The FR0077 series offers an 8.125 per cent coupon rate and will mature on January 15, 2024, with the yield at 7.801 per cent on Wednesday.

The FR0078 series offers a coupon rate of 8.250 per cent and will mature on May 15, 2029, with a yield of 7.881 per cent on Thursday.

The FR0068 series offers a coupon rate at 8.375 per cent and will mature on March 15, 2034, with the yield at 8.306 per cent on Thursday.

Last, the FR0079 series offers a coupon rate at 8.375 per cent and will mature time on April 15, 2039, with the yield at 8. 306 per cent on Thursday.

On the auction of the SUN on January 3, the government got 55.27 trillion rupiah in offers, but the government could only absorb 28.25 trillion rupiah. - The Jakarta Post 


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