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February 10, 2009

Vietnam ABBank posted 70% fall in 2008 profit
Vietnam's An Binh Bank, 15 percent owned by Malaysia's top lender Maybank, said its 2008 gross profit fell 70 percent, hit by securities and foreign exchange trading losses.

Partly-private ABBank said gross profit slumped to 70.2 billion dong ($4 million), well below a forecast 465 billion dong. For 2009, the lender forecast gross profit would rise to 400 billion dong, reported Reuters.

The unlisted Ho Chi Minh City-based bank's losses from trading foreign currencies doubled to 4.95 billion dong last year and losses from trading securities also nearly doubled to 24.7 billion dong, it said in a statement.

Operating costs jumped more than two-thirds to 245 billion dong. Vietnam's main share index .VNI fell 66 percent in 2008.

The State Bank of Vietnam, the country's central bank, aims to keep credit growth this year at around 20 percent, after its monetary tightening measures to contain inflation early last year led loan growth to slow to 21-22 percent from 54 percent in 2007.

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