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Vietnam central bank tells ACB to slow 2008 lending   2008-04-18 - Reuters

Vietnam's central bank has told Asia Commercial Bank ACB.HN to slow its lending after imposing 30 percent cap on credit growth for the sector this year in an effort to control inflation at a 12 year high.

 
   
Vietnam's central bank has told Asia Commercial Bank ACB.HN to slow its lending after imposing 30 percent cap on credit growth for the sector this year in an effort to control inflation at a 12 year high.

The Ho Chi Minh City-based ACB, Vietnam's fifth-largest lender by assets, should adjust its business plan along government's instructions on measures to control inflation, the State Bank of Vietnam said in a statement posted on its Web site (www.sbv.gov.vn).

ACB, the sole listed bank on the over-the-counter Hanoi stock market, had forecast loans to grow 85 percent this year to VND59 trillion.

The statement gave no timeframe or any specific lending growth rate for ACB.

Last year Vietnam's credit growth was 54 percent, prompting the central bank to tighten money supply in the first quarter of 2008 as annual inflation hit 19.3 percent in March, the highest in more than 12 years.

ACB did not immediately comment on Friday but executives from the bank and several other Ho Chi Minh City-based banks have said the central bank should issue specific targets for individual banks because of their different financial strengths.

The central bank said in the same statement that it has allowed ACB to sell bonds on domestic markets this year to raise VND6.5 trillion ($407 million), similar to the quota it gave ACB last year.

ACB raised only VND2.25 trillion worth of its 5-year bonds in 2007, or 34.6 percent of the annual quota. Standard Chartered Plc, which owns 8.6 percent of ACB, was the lead manager for the issue.

ACB has said it would issue bonds for the remaining VND4.25 trillion in early 2008.

The bank has not published details of any upcoming debt issues.


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