Bureau Chief, Vietnam
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Sep 7, 2011

Analysis: Vietnam taps reserves but dong still likely to slide

HANOI (Reuters) – The Vietnamese dong looks stuck for now with the unappealing title of Asia’s worst performing currency, despite moves by the central bank to dip into foreign reserves to bolster it.

The dong’s chronic weakness has repelled foreign investors and hampered attempts by Vietnam’s policymakers to reverse the faltering fortunes of an economy that only five years ago was one of Asia’s most promising.

Sep 6, 2011

Vietnam cbank intervenes to support dong -sources

HANOI, Sept 6 (Reuters) – Vietnam’s central bank has been
selling U.S. dollars to banks in recent weeks to support the
weak dong , which has come under pressure since early
August following months of stability, market sources said.

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has sold an estimated $1.5
billion to five or six large state-run and partly-private banks
since mid-August, two sources who closely follow the Vietnamese
currency market estimated.

Aug 26, 2011

Vietnam should hold rates for now, have ‘flexible’ monetary policy -govt

HANOI, Aug 26 (Reuters) – Vietnam’s central bank should hold
policy rates for now and deploy monetary tools “flexibly” the
rest of 2011 to trim price pressures, but it needs to try to
lower interest rates as inflation eases, Deputy Prime Minister
Vu Van Ninh said.

His views were reported on official websites on Friday, the
day after Ninh met senior central bank officials and two days
after the government announced that annual inflation hit 23
percent in August.

Aug 25, 2011

Analysis: Vietnam inflation may have peaked; now the hard part

HANOI (Reuters) – Inflation may have finally peaked in Vietnam. Now comes the hard part for policymakers.

It is too early to start unwinding tight monetary policy but pressure to do so will no doubt rise quickly if, as some economists expect, inflation starts to ease in the next month or so.

Aug 23, 2011

Vietnam newspapers – Aug 23

HANOI, Aug 23 (Reuters) – These are some of the leading
stories in the official Vietnamese press on Tuesday .
Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for
their accuracy.



— Ho Chi Minh City’s consumer price index in August rose
0.68 percent from July, the lowest level since the beginning of
the year, the city’s statistics department said.

Aug 8, 2011

Asia ministers to try to deepen trade as West falters

HANOI (Reuters) – Asian trade officials will try to tighten the ties that bind their economies when they meet in Indonesia this week in the face of falling demand and quickly fading confidence in developed world economies, exacerbated by the U.S. downgrade.

Officials from the 10 members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) are expected to try to advance plans to form an ASEAN Economic Community by 2015, and for further integration beyond that date, at the meeting on the tropical island of Sulawesi.

Aug 7, 2011

New Hanoi anti-China rally tests tolerance of protests

HANOI (Reuters) – Anti-China demonstrators staged another in a series of weekly marches in central Hanoi on Sunday, testing authorities’ tolerance of protests on an emotive issue in Vietnamese society.

Up to 200 people singing patriotic songs, carrying banners and flags and chanting slogans drew stares from bemused tourists and honks of approval from motorists as they filed around Hoan Kiem Lake.

Aug 3, 2011

Vietnam parliament approves cabinet that strengthens PM

HANOI (Reuters) – Vietnam’s parliament approved a new cabinet on Wednesday that is likely to enhance the prime minister’s power and may streamline policy-making during a rough patch for the economy but points largely to continuity in the coming five years.

Analysts see all four deputy prime ministers as supporters of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, bolstering his control over the $100 billion (61 billion pounds) economy, which is struggling with high inflation, trade and budget deficits and a volatile currency.

Jun 27, 2011

Inflation, high rates batter Vietnam’s small businesses

HANOI, June 27 (Reuters) – As Vietnam fights to beat back
raging inflation, many of its small and mid-sized businesses –
disadvantaged even in good times — are struggling to survive
the battle.
    Just ask Ngo Thi Bau, general director of Nguyen Tam Foci
Garment Co Ltd, which a Vietnamese consumer magazine for years
dubbed one of Vietnam’s 100 strongest brands.
    This year, plunging revenue has led Bau to lay off 60
percent of her Ho Chi Minh City-based firm’s 400 workers. Her
business has been battered by sharply higher consumer prices and
the sky-high interest rates — up to 20 percent — that
borrowers now face.

“It’s impossible to make a profit in manufacturing,” said

Jun 19, 2011

Vietnamese demonstrate against China for third weekend

HANOI, June 19 (Reuters) – Several dozen Vietnamese
protested in front of the Chinese embassy and marched through
Hanoi for the third Sunday running after Beijing sent one of its
biggest maritime patrol ships into the disputed waters of the
South China Sea.

The demonstration comes amid the biggest flare-up in tension
in years over competing sovereignty claims in the sea, home to
key shipping lanes and fisheries and potentially large deposits
of oil and gas.