25/12/2017 - 18:48

Vietnam’s forex reserves soar to record-setting 48 billion USD 

Foreign curency exchange at the Ho Chi Minh City Development Bank (Photo: VNA)

Vietnam’s foreign currency reserves hit approximate 48 billion USD thanks to the country’s stable macroeconomic conditions and strong influx of exports, foreign direct investment (FDI) and remittance, according to State Bank of Vietnam (SBV)’s Governor Le Minh Hung.

It meant that the SBV has brought in another 3 billion USD worth of hard currencies over the past month.

Previously, Governor Hung told National Assembly deputies on November 16 during a plenary session that the bank had increased its buffer fund by 7 billion USD in 11 months to bring the sum to a record high of 45 billion USD.

The rise was reported in the context of the foreign exchange rate in the domestic market being relatively stable. A few years ago, the exchange rate usually fluctuated widely towards the year-end due to seasonal factors.

In particular, the USD/VND rate has undergone little change, although the US Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rates by 0.25 percentage points for the third time, effective December 14.

As the US rate increase was well-anticipated, the local forex market did not react negatively to the Fed’s rate announcement. The USD/VND rates were kept almost unchanged on December 15, a day following the rate hike. Across commercial banks, the dollar was traded at some 22,675 VND on the buy side and 22,755 VND on the sell side. The central bank’s daily fixing, however, was adjusted down by 7 VND to 22,443 VND.

By December 14, the daily reference USD/VND exchange rate listed by the central bank increased by 1.29 percent against earlier this year, while the rates quoted by commercial banks and in the unofficial market declined 0.18 percent and 1.45 percent, respectively.

[Central bank policies expand foreign reserves]

According to the central bank, liquidity of the domestic foreign exchange market was good and met the demands of local organisations and individuals.

Experts attributed the stability to reasons such as the SBV’s flexible central rate management mechanism, which ensured that the domestic foreign exchange market was less affected by global factors.

The Government’s policy to encourage locals to convert forex holdings into dong has also provided support. The SBV has net purchased 8-8.5 billion USD worth of forex since the start of this year, higher than the surplus of 4.8 billion USD in the overall balance of payments.

In addition, the domestic supply-demand relationship with the dollar was relatively stable. Foreign currency supply from exports, foreign direct investment (FDI), official development assistance, tourism and remittances grew positively in 2017.

Vietnam recorded trade surplus of 2.76 billion USD in the first 11 months of the year, or 1.4 percent of total export turnover, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The total export value during the reviewed period was 193.75 billion USD and import value was 190.99 billion USD, up 21.1 percent and 21 percent year-on-year, respectively.

The country’s total FDI capital in the period also reached a record high of 33 billion USD, up 82.8 percent against the same period last year, while FDI disbursement capital also rose by 11.9 percent to 16 billion USD.

Remittance this year is estimated at 13.8 billion USD against 11.5 billion USD last year, while the country is also expected to greet 13 million foreign visitors in 2017, earning a significant amount in hard currencies.

ANZ recently forecast that the dong will depreciate slightly against the dollar in the next few years, to reach 22,900 VND per dollar by the end of 2018 and 23,000 VND by June 2019.

Source: VNA

Share