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Vietnam banks face shortage of funds on gold, dollar   2009-11-25 - Bloomberg

Vietnamese lenders are facing a shortage of funds to meet rising demand for loans because gains in gold and the dollar are deterring people from putting money in the bank, according to a government statement.


Commercial banks have had to raise deposit interest rates to as high as 9.99 percent over the past week and offered gifts and bonuses to depositors to lure them back, the statement on the government’s website said.

The dong fell to a record low when it traded at 17,882 at banks Tuesday and slumped in the so-called black market to as low as 19,890 from 19,800 in Ho Chi Minh City, according to the state-run telephone information service, known as 1080. Gold rose to VND28.57 million per tael Tuesday, from 28.55 million dong the previous day.

The funding shortage has prompted some commercial lenders to plan sales of extra shares to raise cash for lending, the statement said. Military Commercial Joint-Stock Bank said it will sell 90 million additional shares and Joint-Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam, known as Vietcombank, the nation’s biggest-listed company, plans to sell 112.3 million shares.

State firms hold $6 bln

Vietnam’s state-owned corporations are holding $5 billion to $6 billion of the US currency, the Tuoi Tre newspaper reported, citing Tran Hoang Ngan, a member of the National Financial and Monetary Policy Advisory Council.

The country’s shortage of US dollars will ease if the companies sell 50 percent to 80 percent of their dollar holdings, Ngan said, according to Tuoi Tre.

Vietnam’s state-owned companies include Vietnam Airlines Corp., Vietnam Oil & Gas Group, Vietnam Posts & Telecommunications, Electricity of Vietnam, Vietnam Rubber Group and Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group.

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