After more than a month of keeping the interbank exchange rate unchanged, the State Bank of Vietnam on Dec. 14 raised the forex by 10 VND to 20,813 VND per dollar, its highest level this year.

The interbank dollar exchange rate has advanced 185 VND per dollar, or 0.9 percent, since September when the central bank committed to keeping the forex fluctuation under 1 percent until the end of this year.

Following the move, Vietcombank on Dec. 14 also lifted the dollar exchange rates by 8-10 VND over the previous day to 21,015/21,019 VND. Vietinbank quoted the greenback at 21,018/21,021 VND while Eximbank and ACB figures were 21,000/21,021 VND.

On the black market, the greenback stood at 21,130/21,180 VND per dollar, up 30 VND over the previous day.

Vice chairman of the Lien Viet Post Bank, Nguyen Duc Huong said there was no cause for concern as the increase of forex rate was still under the threshold of 1 percent committed by the central bank.

Huong attributed the surge to a rising demand for dollars in the domestic market at the end of the year when demand for US dollars increased due to rising imports and repayment of foreign currency loans.

The devaluation of dong against dollar was also considered a measure to boost exports, he said.

Experts said the forex rise will not significantly impact the market, explaining that the Government had so far successfully controlled the black market through strict fines.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment last week estimated the balance of payments was expected to see a surplus of 3.1 billion USD this year, which will also help keep the forex market stable.

As for the domestic gold market, traders on Dec. 14 reduced the price to 44 million VND per tael (1.2 ounces), down 130,000 VND against the previous day in the wake of a sharp slide of 2.1 percent to 1,671.96 USD an ounce on Dec. 13 on the world market.

SJC quoted gold at 43.77/44.02 million VND per tael on Dec. 14 while Bao Tin Minh Chau listed at 42.93/43.10 million VND. Gold price in the domestic market was still roughly 2 million VND higher than that in the world market./.