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NEWS UPDATES 2 February 2010

Vietnam: State firms help ease dollar shortage

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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 ( 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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