Inward remittances via Ho Chi Minh City banks topped 3.7 billion USD in the first 10 months of the year, and are expected to reach 4.8 billion USD this year, according to the State Bank of Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City branch.

Besides traditional sources like the United States and the European Union, this year has seen an increase in inward remittances from China and the Republic of Korea, said Nguyen Hoang Minh, deputy director of the branch.

Remittances from these two countries accounted for around 5 percent of the total overseas remittances this year, compared to 0.2-0.25 percent in previous years.

The increase reflects the rising number of Vietnamese people going to China and the Republic of Korea to work, he said.

Minh said 60 percent of the overseas money coming in is used to invest in production and trading activities and 21 percent injected into real estate.

Many banks offering money-transfer services in Ho Chi Minh City, including Sacombank and Dong A Bank, have reported higher revenues from this service this year.

For instance, overseas remittances through Dong A Money Transfer Co Ltd, which belongs to the Dong A Bank, went up by 15 percent in the first 10 months, meeting 95 percent of the company's target set for this year. Last year, overseas remittances through the bank reached 1.6 billion USD.

Sai Gon Thuong Tin Remittance Express Co Ltd, a Sacombank subsidiary, received about 1.2 billion USD in overseas remittances in the first nine months of the year.

Trinh Hoi Nam, deputy director of Dong A Money Transfer Co Ltd, said remittances to the country often rise sharply in the fourth quarter, accounting for roughly 30-35 percent of the total figure, as overseas Vietnamese seek to transfer money to their relatives for spending and shopping during year-end holidays.

The economic recovery in developed countries and improved earnings by overseas Vietnamese in the United States, Australia and Canada are set to be important factors in boosting inward remittances in the remaining months of the year and early next year, he said.

Minh said overseas remittances to Ho Chi Minh City usually climbed sharply in the last months of the year, and that it's likely they reach 4.7-4.8 billion USD this year, compared to 4.1 billion USD last year.

Approximately four million Vietnamese people are living abroad, including 400,000 guest workers employed in 101 countries and territories. Vietnam’s remittances have consistently increased despite global economic difficulties, demonstrating the close link between expatriates and their relatives in the homeland.

The World Bank predicts inward remittances to Vietnam will rise by more than 6.5 percent this year, reaching about 11 billion USD, ranking it among 10 leading remittance recipients in the world. Vietnam's overseas remittances reached 10 billion USD last year, rising by 10 percent over the previous year.-VNA