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Vietnamese Bonds Decline After Moody’s Cuts Rating; Dong Weakens

Vietnam’s government bonds dropped, pushing the three-year yield to a two-month high, after Moody’s Investors Service cut the country’s credit rating for the first time since 2010. The dong weakened.

The foreign- and local-currency government debt ratings were lowered to B2 from B1, with a stable outlook, Moody’s said in a statement today, citing lower growth prospects and risks to the state balance sheet from “weaknesses” in the banking system. That is five steps below investment grade and the same as Egypt and Cambodia.

“The cut put some negative effects on bond prices and may also make government debt less attractive to foreigners,” said Nguyen Duy Phong, a Ho Chi Minh City-based analyst at Viet Capital Securities.

The yield on the three-year notes rose three basis points, or 0.03 percentage point, to 9.91 percent, according to a daily fixing from banks compiled by Bloomberg. That was the highest level since July 19. The yield advanced 18 basis points this week, 33 basis points this month and 28 basis points since the end of June.

The dong weakened 0.1 percent to 20,885 per dollar as of 3:41 p.m. in Hanoi, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The central bank set its reference rate at 20,828, unchanged since Dec. 26, according to its website. The currency is allowed to trade as much as 1 percent on either side of the fixing.

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