The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) Vietnam has said the approval of an Asset Management Company is crucial for Vietnam to move forward with its efforts to restructure the banking sector.

In its latest report on Vietnam ’s macro-economy and market potential for June, HSBC said this is one of many major initiatives launched by the Government to improve the efficacy of the banking system led by Decision 254.

Meanwhile, the Central Committee, the Party’s decision-making body, appointed two new Politburo members and a new Finance Minister. These appointments signal the political leadership’s readiness to tackle serious reforms in Vietnam by appointing experienced and capable technocrats.

The report states that domestic economic activity continues to be hammered by weak domestic demand. Much of Vietnams ’ recent economic malaise can be traced to the State’s unfettered credit binge in the past decade and an underdeveloped financial sector that has been saddled with bad debts.

Softness in year-to-date exports continues, with a 15.1 percent growth year-on-year. While the year-to-date figure remains in double digits. Vietnamese shipments have suffered from weak global commodity prices. Manufactured goods, on the other hand, have rebounded, bolstered by stronger demand and new investment in the textile and garment, footwear and electronics sectors.

With subdued consumption and reduced reliance on foreign energy, Vietnam ’s year-to-date deficit improved slightly, now at 1.9 billion USD. Strong remittance inflows and reduced import costs are likely to keep afloat Vietnam ’s current account in 2013, creating a healthier macro-economic environment.

HSBC also expects core inflation to drop significantly in the coming months thanks to a favourable base effect and sluggish demand. Rising domestic energy production capacity should also help stabilise Vietnam ’s future energy supply.

The report forecast that Vietnam ’s gross domestic product will hit 5.1 percent this year.-VNA