The Government issued Decree No 64/2012/ND-CP on September 14, regulating issuance of construction licences. Under the decree, standalone residential housing in urban areas must be in conformity with detailed construction planning (1:500 scale), as well as regulations on urban architecture and design. This is notable since many areas in the country do not yet have plans at this level of detail.
Applications for construction licences, in addition to the documents already required, will also be required to include a drawing of the main load-bearing structure (foundation, frame, wall, load-bearing roof). This provision has been controversial because preparing such a drawing is costly and many in the construction industry believe that State authorities lack the qualifications to evaluate these drawings.
To deal with projects that take too long to complete, the decree provides that construction licences will be withdrawn if the investor does not commence construction within six months of the date the licence is granted. The new decree takes effect on October 20.
Fees change for setting up representative offices
The Ministry of Finance issued Circular No 133/2012/TT-BTC on August 13, governing fees for foreign traders to establish representative offices in Viet Nam. Under the circular, the fee to license a new representative office is VND3 million. Reissuing or amending a licence will carry a fee of VND1.5 million. The fees must be paid Vietnamese dong. This circular takes effect on October 1 and supersedes Circular No 73/1999/TT-BTC of June 1999. The ministry is also gathering public comment for a new circular on fees for foreign trade promotion organisations to establish representative offices.
Conditions set for banks to list shares
The State Bank of Viet Nam issued Circular No 26/2012/TT-NHNN on September 13 providing guidelines for the listing of shares on domestic and overseas securities markets by joint stock credit institutions. Under the circular, a credit institution seeking to list shares must have been operating for at least two years prior to applying to list, and the institution must have shown profits based on audited financial reports for the two most recent years prior to submitting the application. The institution must have maintained the ratio of non-performing loan for the two most recent, consecutive quarters of under 3 per cent and must not have been subject to any administrative sanctions or fines in excess of VND30 million for at least 12 months prior the application to list.
The circular takes effect on October 29 and will replace Decision No 787/2004/QD-NHNN of June 2004 governing issuance and listing of stocks by commercial banks. — BIZ CONSULT