Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam Le Minh Hung (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV)’s net purchase of foreign currencies exceeded 11 billion USD in the first half of 2018, increasing the nation’s foreign exchange reserves to approximately 63.5 billion USD.

The figures were announced by SBV Governor Le Minh Hung at an online conference between the Government and localities held in Hanoi on July 2.

He said the SBV has carried out a flexible currency policy to stabilise the average interest rate. The average lending interest rate was reduced by 0.5 percent over the January-June period.

Meanwhile, credit grew approximately 6.9 percent from 2017, with its structure occupied mainly by those lent to the processing-manufacturing sector (16.3 percent) and rural agriculture (21 percent), as well as small- and medium-sized businesses (nearly 7.1 percent).

Hung stressed that the credit structure has been shifting towards supporting the development of special production areas like export, rural farming, and the processing-manufacturing industry.

He added that over the past six months, the SBV also sped up the handling of bad debt, recording a positive outcome.   

He said recent increase in the foreign exchange rate was predictable as the US Federal Reserve (Fed) pushed up its interest rates and the dollar appreciated in international markets.

Hung stated that the SBV is willing to interfere in the local foreign exchange market if supply-demand problems arise. The interference is to stabilise the exchange rate and prevent macro-economic risks, he noted. -VNA