Bureau Chief, Vietnam
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May 4, 2011

Inflation fight may keep India GDP growth around 8.5 pct -Finmin

HANOI, May 4 (Reuters) – India’s fight against inflation
could knock about half a percentage point off economic growth in
Asia’s third-largest economy this fiscal year, Finance Minister
Pranab Mukherjee said on Wednesday, a day after the central bank
raised rates.

“It may be around… 8.5 percent. So, it will be about half
a percent,” he told Reuters when asked about the impact of
stubbornly high inflation on gross domestic product growth.

May 4, 2011

Asia can’t act as bystander on imbalances-Lagarde

HANOI, May 4 (Reuters) – Asia could dominate the world
economy by 2050, provided it avoids the traps that have seen
other emerging countries stall, and that meant it has to do its
part in reducing global imbalances, top policymakers said on

French finance minister Christine Lagarde said Asia could
not be a bystander in the Group of 20′s drive for “solid,
sustainable and balanced” global growth, while China’s deputy
finance minister Li Yong said the region should speak with one

May 3, 2011

Vietnam prioritises inflation as Asian concerns grow

HANOI, May 3 (Reuters) – Vietnam said on Tuesday fighting
inflation took precedence over growth and as a result GDP would
miss the official target, underscoring a key concern for the
region as Asian officials met in Hanoi to discuss ways to pursue
a sustained upturn.
    Rising prices across the region must be “carefully managed”
via a mix of policies to minimise the impact on Asia’s vast
population of poor people, Asian Development Bank President
Haruhiko Kuroda said at the start of the ADB’s annual meeting.
    All major economies in the region have tightened monetary
policy to contain inflationary pressures that have built up
during a strong recovery from the global crisis.
    On Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of India said fighting
inflation was the priority as it raised interest rates by a
higher-than-expected 50 basis points.[ID:nL3E7G30NW]
    Volatile capital flows and surging commodity prices will be
key topics of discussion when finance ministers from East Asia’s
top three economies — China, Japan and South Korea — meet with
their Southeast Asian counterparts on Wednesday.
   ”The top priority is to fight inflation. We are no longer
prioritising GDP growth. We want to keep GDP growth at a
reasonable level that is acceptable in this inflation
situation,” Vietnam’s Minister of Planning and Investment Vo
Hong Phuc said.

Growth was now expected to be 6.5 percent and inflation
11.75 percent in 2011, Phuc told a forum at the Asian
Development Bank’s (ADB) annual meeting in Hanoi.

Apr 29, 2011

Vietnam raises two policy rates to fight inflation

HANOI, April 29 (Reuters) – Vietnam’s central bank tightened
credit for the second time in four weeks on Friday, increasing
two policy rates days after the government reported inflation
was at its highest level in over two years, but some economists
said rates may be near a peak.

The State Bank of Vietnam raised the refinance rate by 100
basis points to 14 percent and the discount rate by the same
amount to 13 percent, following increases in the refinance rate
and reverse repo rate on April 1.

Apr 4, 2011

Vietnam jails law scholar who sued prime minister

HANOI (Reuters) – A legal scholar who sued Vietnam’s prime minister and called for an end to one-party rule was sentenced on Monday to seven years in prison in one of the Communist country’s most important political trials in years.

The Hanoi People’s Court convicted Cu Huy Ha Vu, the 53-year-old son of a Vietnamese revolutionary leader, of spreading propaganda against the state.

Apr 4, 2011

Vietnam to try legal scholar who sued prime minister

HANOI (Reuters) – A Vietnamese legal scholar who sued the prime minister and called for an end to one-party rule went on trial on Monday on charges of spreading propaganda against the state and faces up to 12 years in jail.

Cu Huy Ha Vu was arrested in November and later indicted for circulating anti-government material.

Apr 3, 2011

Vietnam finally nets legendary turtle for treatment

HANOI (Reuters) – Experts in Hanoi captured a legendary giant turtle for medical treatment on Sunday, a milestone in a case that has grabbed national attention and cast a spotlight on environmental degradation in Vietnam.

Several dozen people including special forces soldiers swam and used boats to pull three rings of nets around the rare beast the size of a car door with a head as big as a human’s, in Hoan Kiem Lake in the heart of the Vietnamese capital.

Apr 1, 2011

Vietnam hikes key rates in inflation fight, more moves seen

HANOI, April 1 (Reuters) – Vietnam’s central bank raised two
key interest rates on Friday as it battles soaring inflation,
which economists expect to be exacerbated by rising fuel prices.

The State Bank of Vietnam hiked the reverse repurchase rate
which it charges banks for loans via open market operations to
13 percent from 12 percent, according to an announcement seen by
Reuters. A central bank official confirmed the change.

Feb 22, 2011

Vietnam keeps tightening, raises another key rate

HANOI, Feb 22 (Reuters) – Vietnam raised another key
interest rate on Tuesday in what economists said was a fresh
sign that the authorities were serious about countering
inflationary pressures that appeared set to worsen.

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) lifted the reverse repo
rate, which it uses for seven-day open market operations, to 12
percent after holding it at 11 percent since Jan. 10, central
bank data SBVOMO2011 showed.

Feb 17, 2011

Vietnam raises refinance rate 200 bps to 11 pct

HANOI, Feb 17 (Reuters) – Vietnam’s central bank raised a
key interest rate on Thursday in an attempt to answer growing
calls for concrete steps to curb double-digit inflation after
the bank devalued the currency last week.

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) increased the refinance rate
by 200 basis points to 11 percent while keeping the base rate,
which served as the benchmark until recently, unchanged at 9
percent and the discount rate at 7 percent.