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Banks’ quoted dollar prices down, black market’s prices staying high   2009-04-01 - VietNamNet/DTCK, TP

The interbank exchange rates announced by the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has been decreasing continuously in recent days. Meanwhile, the dollar price in the black market has been staying firmly high.


The official exchange rate announced by SBV for April 1 is VND 16,943/US $1.00, which represents the VND 11/US $1.00 decrease in comparison with the VND 16,954/US $1.00 level announced for March 31, and the decrease of VND 20/US $1.00 in comparison with March 30’s rate.


The exchange rate quoted by commercial banks has not seen big fluctuations.


Vietcombank, for example, announced the exchange rate between VND 17,710-17,790/US $1.00 (purchase and sale) for April 1. The levels prove to be a slight decrease in comparison with VND 17,710-17,802/US $1.00 just one day ago. The decrease tendency proves to be clear if noting that the exchange rate was VND 17,710-17,811/US $1.00 for March 30.


Meanwhile, the exchange rate in the black market remains stable at high levels.


The VND/US$ exchange rate this morning was reportedly at VND 17,820-17,850/US $1.00 (purchase and sale). The price level proves to be the same with previous days.


However, big currency exchange points in Hanoi remain quiet with very few transactions.


It is understandable why the black market remains quiet. People do not make transactions these days because they still have to wait and see what will happen next. However, observers said that if commercial keep the decrease tendency, the black market will have to lower the prices accordingly.


On March 24, the new foreign currency trading band of 5% became valid. In the first day of applying the new trading band, the interbank exchange rate announced by the central bank was VND 16,980/US $1.00, the same with the previous day, while the commercial rate quoted by banks was VND 50/US $1.00 lower than the ceiling level. The decision on wider trading band (5% instead of 3%) is understood as the move by the central bank to pave the way for the depreciation of the local currency VND.


In the international market, the Euro/US$ exchange rate is now at US $1.32/EURO 1.00, while it was US $1.31/EURO 1.00 yesterday. However, there have been signs of the greenback recovery on the forecast that ECB may lower the euro interest rate by 0.5% in tomorrow’s meeting.


In related news, the gold price quoted by Saigon Jewellery Company SJC at 9:00am of April 1, 2009 was between VND 19.8-19.9 million/tael (purchase and sale), up by VND 10,000-20,000 over yesterday’s afternoon. At the same time, gold was traded between US $920.85-921.35/oz in the world. The price levels are equal to between VND 20.2-20.25mil/tael, if noting that the VND/US$ exchange rate is VND 17,790/US $1.00. As such, the domestic gold price is VND 335,000/tael lower than the world’s price.

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