HANOI, June 4 (Reuters) - These are some of the leading stories in the official Vietnamese press on Thursday. Reuters has not verified these stories.
— Ho Chi Minh City-based banks raised 662 trillion dong ($37 billion) by the end of May, 23.3 percent higher than the same period last year, while outstanding loans rose 12 percent to 552 trillion dong, of which loans to stock investors were under 3 percent, the central bank said.
— Sacombank STB.HM said it made a pre-tax profit of 660 billion dong ($37 million) in the first five months of the year mainly from lending activities.
— Trading value and volume by foreign investors on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange .VNI have both increased by about 30 percent compared to the second half of last year, and are expected to grow further after the government has raised the cap for foreign ownership in public companies to 49 percent.
— Ocean Bank, Techcombank and Petrovietnam’s financial arm PVFC PVF.HM have signed a $90 million credit contract to support a crude oil drilling project at Song Doc in Ca Mau province under the management of PetroVietnam Exploration Production Corporation.
— Three people are dead and one is still missing after a landslide hit a hydroelectric power plant construction site in the northern province of Lao Cai when they were asleep early on Wednesday.
— Vietnamese exports of cashews dropped 16.1 percent to $251 million in the first five months of the year compared with the same period last year. Export volume was down just 1 percent, though, at 57,000 tonnes, the government statistics office said.
— Vietnam’s first H1N1 patient, a Vietnamese student in the United States, has recovered and is expected to return home from hospital in Ho Chi Minh City in the next few days, doctors said.
— Canon (7751.T) said it needed to hire additional 700 workers for its printer factory at Thang Long Industrial Park in Hanoi.
— Mobile phone service provider MobiFone said it would starting slashing call tariffs by up to 30 percent from this week.
— A new port in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau received its first ever container vessel on Wednesday, allowing Vietnamese exporters to ship containers directly to the United States without going through Singapore or Hong Kong. The port can handle vessels of up to 80,000 dead-weight-tonnes.
— Vietnam Airlines will use new routes for its domestic and international flights from July to shorten flight time and save fuel, Deputy Director General Pham Xuan Duc said. (Reporting by Hanoi Newsroom)