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Vietnam’s forex reserves hit all-time high of $80bn

Thursday, January 02, 2020, 17:57 GMT+7
Vietnam’s forex reserves hit all-time high of $80bn
An employee counts U.S. dollar banknotes at a bank in Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Vietnam's foreign exchange reserves have reached US$80 billion, its largest on record, the State Bank of Vietnam said on Thursday.

State Bank Governor Le Minh Hung cited the figure at a conference to implement the 2020 banking targets in Hanoi.

In 2019, the country’s central bank bought in $20 billion worth of foreign currencies, the local news site VnExpress cited Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc as saying earlier this week.

Speaking at Thursday morning’s event, Hung assessed that the exchange and interest rates were kept stable while inflation was well controlled last year in the context of global economic and financial fluctuations and against the backfrop of the U.S.-China trade friction.

Credit growth remained at a reasonable rate of 14 percent while VND8,200 trillion ($353.5 billion) of outstanding credit has been pumped into the economy.

Total non-performing loans (NPLs) and all potential bad debts reached 4.59 percent on the balance sheet, a drastic decrease from 10.08 percent in 2016.

The SBV plans to reduce the figure to three percent in the future.

During the 2012-19 period, the whole system of credit institutions handled VND1,064 trillion ($45.86 billion) worth of NPLs.

According to Hung, the SBV and the whole system of credit institutions will have solutions to increase credit quality and to cut bad debts, providing sufficient capital for the economy in 2020.

Particularly, the credit growth will target providing better access to capital for enterprises, especially small and medium businesses and those operating in agriculture.

On the other hand, the banking sector will focus on addressing NPLs and building new plans for the restructuring of credit institutions for a healthier banking system, Hung said.

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