HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam (Reuters), Jan 13 – Nguyen Duc Tai was on a mission one sweltering January morning in Vietnam’s commercial capital, Ho Chi Minh City.
Flush with cash from his annual bonus, he wanted to buy his wife a new mobile phone, a gift for the coming Tet lunar new year holidays. In a county where the average annual income is about $1,100, a good phone is a big investment. Tai wanted to make the right choice with his 5 million dong ($250).
HANOI, Jan 12 (Reuters) – Vietnam’s ruling communists
opened an eight-day party congress on Wednesday with a candid
admission the fast-growing economy had become unstable, as
delegates began the process of reshuffling leaders and
charting new policies.
As leaders sang the national anthem to begin the
five-yearly event, streets in the chilly capital Hanoi were
festooned with red and yellow banners, some bearing the iconic
hammer and sickle. Propaganda posters bore the smiling
likeness of revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh or of proud,
HANOI, Dec 23 (Reuters) – Standard & Poor’s Ratings
Services lowered Vietnam’s long-term sovereign credit ratings
on Thursday, following similar cuts by rivals this year, on
concerns the banking sector has become more vulnerable to
It also put a negative outlook on Techcombank, which
is 20 percent owned by HSBC Holdings Plc ,
and downgraded Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam
(BIDV) and Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam.
Thursday’s move put some daylight between S&P’s
sovereign credit ratings of Vietnam and its regional peers
Indonesia and the Philippines, highlighting the divergent
Although it was not mentioned by S&P, the
beleaguered state-run shipbuilding conglomerate Vinashin was
poised to enter default on a widely watched debt payment on
Thursday unless an 11th-hour deal could be struck with
S&P warned on Dec. 13 that exposure to Vinashin, or
Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group, was likely to damage the
creditworthiness and balance sheets of some Vietnamese banks.
HANOI, Dec 15 (Reuters) – Moody’s Investors Service
lowered Vietnam’s bond rating on Wednesday, citing the
heightened risk of a balance of payments crisis, accelerating
inflation, a falling currency and debt distress from state
The agency also downgraded six Vietnamese banks, including
three that are partly owned by foreign lenders, on the same
set of concerns.
LONG XUYEN, Vietnam (Reuters) – About a year ago some farmers from Binh Thanh commune in Vietnam’s southern rice growing heartland suspected the worst — that their irrigation water had become too salty.
They telephoned Vo Thanh, the head of An Giang province’s hydro-meteorology center, and he came to take water samples from the commune, which is about 20 km (12 miles) from the sea.
HANOI, Dec 8 (Reuters) – Troubled Vietnamese shipbuilder Vinashin is
responsible for re-paying its own debts, including $60 million due later this
month to international creditors, a government minister said on Wednesday.
The comments by Minister of Planning and Investment Vo Hong Phuc confirmed
that one of the country’s biggest state-owned firms was unlikely to get
financial aid from the government to tackle a mountain of debt that brought it
close to bankruptcy.
HANOI, Dec 7 (Reuters) – Vietnam’s central bank said on
Tuesday its top priority next year would be controlling
inflation and stabilising the economy, and the International
Monetary Fund advised further monetary tightening.
In 2011, the State Bank of Vietnam “will actively, flexibly
and prudently conduct monetary policies in order to give the
first priority to controlling inflation and stabilising the
macroeconomy, contributing to growth (in the) economy”,
Governor Nguyen Van Giau said in remarks prepared for a donors’
HANOI, Dec 6 (Reuters) – Standard & Poor’s on Monday cut
its long-term credit rating on Vietnam’s state mining group
Vinacomin after signs the government might not help a similar
state-owned company, troubled shipbuilder Vinashin, with debt
What happens to Vinashin will set the tone for Vietnamese
borrowing in the near future. Should Vinashin fail to make its
debt payments, not only would the cost of capital rise for
other state-owned companies, but questions may be asked about
the government’s ability to service its debt, analysts say.
“We downgraded Vinacomin to reflect our view of the ‘low’
likelihood of extraordinary government support to the
company… in the event of financial distress,” S&P said in a
HANOI, Nov 24 (Reuters) – Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen
Tan Dung tried to put a debacle that has dented his political
career behind him on Wednesday, taking some responsibility
before lawmakers for the near-collapse of state shipbuilder
Analysts say Vietnam’s biggest corporate failure ever has
raised questions about Dung’s future, and some delegates to the
National Assembly were clearly not satisfied with his
unwillingness to take personal responsibility.
HANOI, Nov 5 (Reuters) – Vietnam raised interest rates on
Friday, a day after the government ruled out a devaluation of
the dong VND=VN from now until early February and a senior
economic official said the central bank will instead tap
foreign exchange reserves to keep the beleaguered currency
Below are some questions and answers related to this latest
approach to the currency’s chronic weakness.