Remittances are on the rise ahead of the Lunar New Year in Vietnam. It is expected to post an increase of 35 percent to nearly 11 billion USD for the whole year, industry insiders have said.

In Ho Chi Minh City, remittance inflows will be roughly 4.8 billion USD against 4.1 billion USD last year, said deputy director of the State Bank of Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City branch Nguyen Hong Minh.

Banks were optimistic about the sharp rise in remittance flows to the country during the last month of the year, thanks to the economic rebound in countries that Viet kieu (overseas Vietnamese) live.

The unemployment rates in many countries, including the US, Australia and Canada, have fallen to roughly 4-5 percent from 9-10 percent, helping Viet kieu be employed, while enjoying stable and higher incomes.

Vietcombank deputy general director Pham Thanh Ha said the Government's policies had encouraged Viet kieu and Vietnamese guest workers to send money home.

The official also noted that recipients can receive foreign or domestic currencies, and do not have to save this money in banks.

Moreover, the stability of the VND also helps attract more remittance flows, it was noted.

The remittance flows have reduced money problems for firms and households, as most of the remittances have been poured into short-term businesses and production.

Financial expert Le Xuan Nghia forecast that the remittances could be funneled into the securities market in the medium-term thanks to the prospects of the market.

In a report released in October, the World Bank said Vietnam continues to be among the top ten countries receiving the largest amounts of remittances in 2013, with a total inflow of 10.6 billion USD, a 6.5 percent increase compared to 2012.

According to the Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs, some 4.5 million Vietnamese are living in more than 100 nations and territories around the globe.

There are also some 500,000 Vietnamese guest workers.-VNA