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||2 February 2010
Vietnam: State firms help ease dollar shortage
Vietnam's major state-owned firms have sold $450 million to banks since the government ordered such sales to ease a dollar shortage that helped push down the value of the dong, Reuters reported, quoting the government.
Commercial banks had in turn sold part of the $450 million to the central bank, State Bank of Vietnam Deputy Governor Nguyen Dong Tien told a cabinet meeting on Monday, according to a government statement.
In December, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung ordered seven big state-run firms to sell dollars to help ease a dollar shortage as part of efforts to shore up the dong after a one-off devaluation of 5.2 percent in late November.
The amount was less than a quarter of the $1.9 billion in deposits the seven state groups and companies were holding at the end of November, online newspaper VNExpress (www.vnexpress.net) reported, quoting central bank data.
Most of the dollars they sold came from $1.2 billion of non-term deposits, VNExpress said. The deadline for the sales is the end of February, the central bank has said.
Vietnam faced a shortage of dollars for most of last year, exacerbated by a decline in exports and lower foreign direct investment inflows.
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