The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) will continue stabilising the exchange rate between the VND and the USD, which "will not increase more than 2 percent in 2014", Governor Nguyen Van Binh has said.

Speaking at an online conference between the Government and localities on December 24, he said that the central bank will consider adjusting the rate flexibly in order to support exports and ensure the macro-economy balance, without greatly affecting the inflation rate.

The SBV successfully maintained forex exchange rate stability within a band of 2-3 percent during the last two years and marginally devalued the VND by 1 percent in June this year from 20,828 VND to 21,036 VND per USD.

At a year-end banking sector conference last week, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung asked the central bank to maintain the VND exchange rate within a 1-2 percent band during 2014.

The Government leader also required the country’s foreign exchange reserves to be increased and emphasised the need to tightly control the gold market in order to minimise effects on the forex market, interest rates and macro stability.

He reiterated that the SBV should continue to hold the monopoly in the international trade of gold. Banks were no longer entitled to accept gold deposits or lend in gold, and the State Bank was being encouraged to attract home savings in gold to be deposited into the country’s official banking sector.

The stable forex market helped reduce the proportion of foreign currency deposits in the country’s total means of payment to 12 percent in 2013 from 12.36 percent in 2012 and 15.8 percent in 2011. Foreign currency reserves in 2013 also doubled compared to 2011, according to SBV figures quoted by Vietnam Investment Review.

At present, the inter-bank exchange rate is lower than that of commercial banks. So, the SBV has bought a large amount of foreign currency for reserves, said Binh, adding that the country's credit growth has reached 9.5 percent and is expected to be more than 10 percent by the end of this year.

Credit institutions have restructured about 330 trillion VND (15.7 billion USD) in debts, equivalent to 10 percent of outstanding debts, for businesses.

The credit institutions have repaid 70 trillion VND (3.33 billion USD) of bad debts from their risk provision fund. The Vietnam Asset Management Company has so far bought bad debts worth 32 trillion VND (1.5 billion USD), which will be worth 35 trillion VND by the end of the year.-VNA