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February 1, 2009

Vietnam: BIDV bank to cut dong lending rates from Feb 1
Vietnam’s state-run BIDV, the country’s second largest bank by assets, said it will reduce dong lending rates next month to help boost domestic production and support exports, reported Reuters.

The Hanoi-based bank said in a statement late on Friday it would slash the three-month rate by half a percentage point to 8 percent as of Feb. 1 for exporters who have direct export contracts and committed to selling foreign currency back to BIDV.

BIDV's rate cut is the first announced by a big bank in Vietnam following central bank interest rate cuts in effect from Feb. 1 after inflation in January was the lowest in almost a year while industrial production slumped.

Interbank rates for dong loans of up to three months were fixed between 6.1 percent and 8.1 percent on Friday, down from a range of 7 percent to 8.2 percent a week ago, according to Reuters data.

Vietnam has forecast that export growth this year will slow to 13 percent, after a rise of 29.5 percent in 2008, due to the economic downturn in important markets in the United States, Europe and Japan.

The State Bank of Vietnam, the central bank, is aiming to keep credit growth in the banking system at around 20 percent in 2009 after a rise of 21-22 percent last year.

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