Vietnam Says Economy at Great Risk of Macroeconomic Instability

Vietnam Says Economy at Great Risk of Macroeconomic Instability

Vietnam still faces “great risk” of macroeconomic instability, a deputy premier said, as credit growth trails behind targets while banks work to reduce elevated bad debt that has hampered growth. While Vietnam is targeting a 12 percent expansion in credit this year, local businesses are facing difficulties getting loans, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc told the National Assembly in Hanoi today. Credit grew about 2 percent in the first four months of the year, the government said last week. The economy expanded 5.03 percent last year, the slowest pace since 1999, and the International Monetary Fund last month cut this year’s forecast to 5.2 percent from 5.8 percent. Lending grew last year by what the World Bank described as an “anemic” 9 percent, and while the central bank has cut policy rates, its attempts to spur growth have been countered by delays in forming a vehicle to address bad debt.

“Vietnam’s economy still has shortcomings and weaknesses,” Phuc said.

Banks are reluctant to lend due to concern over bad debts, which Phuc said today was gauged by lenders to be 4.51 percent at the end of March. That compares with a central bank estimate of 7.8 percent at the end of last year. The government plans to ask lenders with bad-debt ratios greater than 3 percent to transfer non-performing loans to an asset management company, which was scheduled to be formed by the end of March.

“The restructuring of the banking system and the resolution of bad debts have been slow,” said Nguyen Sinh Hung, chairman of the National Assembly.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Jason Folkmanis in Ho Chi Minh City at

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Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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