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Central bank chief promises to loosen monetary policy   2009-02-03 - TBKTSG Online, TN

The central bank will continue to ease monetary policy this year, its governor said at a press briefing Monday, promising further cuts in the benchmark interest rates.


The policy would be flexible to “stabilize the macro economy and prevent a [balance of payments] deficit,” Nguyen Van Giau said.

He said credit growth would possibly be 3.2 to 3.5 times that of the gross domestic product (GDP) this year. The government expects GDP to expand by 6.5 percent.

Last year’s credit growth is estimated at 21-22 percent.

Giau said the State Bank of Vietnam, the central bank, would continue to cut its key interest rates, but it would be “carefully calculated.”

It cut its key interest rate to 7 percent on February 1 as the government struggles to buoy an economy that expanded at the slowest pace in almost a decade last year.

The economy grew 6.23 percent last year after growing at a record 8.5 percent in 2007, according to the General Statistics Office. It was the slowest since the 4.77 percent rate achieved in 1999.

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