Vietnam

Fitch Ratings has upgraded its rating for Vietnam, noting the country’s improving track record on economic policy, debt and reform, the Financial Times reported. The rating agency said Vietnam’s long-term foreign-currency issuer default rating has been upgraded to BB with a stable outlook, from BB-, and that it expected Vietnam to remain among the fastest-growing economies in the Asia-Pacific region. “Vietnam's track record of policy-making focused on strong macroeconomic performance has been improving,” the agency said, adding that growth of 6.7 per cent is expected this year amid st
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Vietnam's central bank will acquire all shares in a small, loss-making bank in Hanoi, a unit of Ocean Group Co, to ensure the banking system's safety, the second move in less than two months as it seeks to clean up the fragmented sector. "The State Bank has announced its compulsory purchase of all the shares owned by existing shareholders in Dai Duong (Ocean) Commercial Bank," the State Bank of Vietnam said in a statement on Saturday.
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Vietnam’s central bank appears to be fulfilling its recent promise to accelerate the restructuring of the country’s banking system, which is burdened with non-performing loans, The Wall Street Journal Frontiers blog reported. This week, the central bank announced it had taken over the unlisted Vietnam Construction Bank, which has reportedly been losing money, and put it under the management of the Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam — known as Vietcombank — which is more than 90% state-owned.
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Vietnam may change rules to quicken bad-debt sales that have been stalled by a reluctance to accept losses, hampering an economy that risks missing its growth target this year, Bloomberg News reported today. “Right now, everyone seems to be afraid of taking responsibility for creating losses to the state, so no one dares to make decisions to sell any debt at very low prices,” Nguyen Duc Kien, deputy head of the National Assembly’s Economic Committee, said in an interview yesterday.
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Vietnam’s economic growth accelerated as exports climbed, even as banks struggled to meet the government’s lending target, Bloomberg News reported yesterday. Gross domestic product rose 6.04 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, quickening from a 5.54 percent gain in the three months through September, according to data released by the General Statistics Office in Hanoi yesterday. For the full year, the economy grew 5.42 percent, faster than a 5.25 percent pace in 2012.
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Vietnam is the world's biggest producer of the strong-flavoured robusta beans, used for instant coffee, and has experienced a decade of solid growth which has seen coffee exports reach $3 billion a year, Reuters reported. But its coffee industry is now in crisis, plagued by tax evasion, mismanagement, insolvency, high interest rates and a credit squeeze. Many coffee operators are trapped with crippling debt and banks are reluctant to lend them more money.
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Vietnam’s state asset management company, tasked with cleaning up bad loans, said it will acquire as much as 10 trillion dong ($474 million) of spoiled debt over the next two months as it considers possible foreign funding, Bloomberg reported. Vietnam Asset Management Co. will issue special bonds to about 10 banks in exchange for as much as 10 trillion dong of non-performing loans in the next two months, Chief Executive Officer Nguyen Huu Thuy said in an interview in Hanoi yesterday. The lenders will be able to use the bonds to secure funding from the central bank, he said.
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Vietnam's central bank will cut three policy rates from Monday, as easing inflation gives the government room to lower companies' borrowing costs and get more money flowing through the economy, The Wall Street Journal reported. The 100 basis point cuts in the refinancing, rediscount and overnight rates on dong-denominated loans will make it cheaper for banks to borrow from the central bank, which should help increase credit growth.
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Credit Suisse Group AG will accept a debt restructuring plan that Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group put to its creditors, helping to resolve negotiations surrounding a default that occurred more than two years ago, according to a person familiar with the matter. The Swiss lender sent a letter to about 20 other creditors of the Hanoi-based company, telling them it plans to accept the proposal and outlining the rationale for them to do the same, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.
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Bad Loans Weigh Down Vietnam

Until a few years ago, Vietnam was one of the world's hottest emerging markets. Now it faces an urgent task: fix a beleaguered banking system or watch its economy continue to slip behind faster-growing neighbors, The Wall Street Journal reported. Piles of bad loans following the financial crisis have dragged down growth in Vietnam and left banks weakened and reluctant to lend.
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