Overseas Vietnamese have remitted nearly 2.8 billion USD through Ho Chi Minh City-based banks in the first eight months of this year, 6.2 percent higher than in the same period last year, according to the deputy head of the State Bank of Vietnam's city branch.

In August alone the amount was worth 333 million USD, nearly double the July figure.

The full-year figure is expected to be 4.8-5 billion USD compared with 4.7 billion USD last year, the deputy head of the State Bank of Vietnam, HCM City branch, Nguyen Hoang Minh, said.

The proportion of the remittances invested in housing is slightly higher this year at 21.5 percent.

Most of the remittances were channelled into business, which accounted for 71-72 percent of the total amount.

The amount used to support families in Vietnam has shrunk slightly this year.

The Vietnam Economic Times newspaper quoted an analyst as saying that the Government's recent policies have created favourable conditions for Overseas Vietnamese to remit money home.

The exchange-rates adjustment in June and the difference in interest rates between the dong and the US dollar have also helped attract more flows.

Minh said the Government has liberalised policies related to inward remittances.

Recipients do not have to pay income tax and can keep the remittances in foreign currencies and deposit them in banks.

The stability of the dong has also been a factor, Minh said.

Besides banks, many newly opened companies are also providing remittance services.

The deputy general director of a joint stock bank based in Hanoi, who declined to be named, said banks have focused on diversifying remittance services, expanding distribution channels, and reducing the time to make payments, and have launched attractive promotion campaigns.-VNA