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Vietnam Bonds Gain as Banks Boost Purchases; Dong Little Changed

Oct. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Vietnam’s five-year bonds rose, driving yields down by the most in more than five weeks, on speculation banks bought debt with surplus cash following a slowdown in lending. The dong was little changed.

Loans increased 2.35 percent in 2012 from the end of last year as of Sept. 20, the government said in a statement on its website Sept. 27. The central bank already downgraded its full-year estimate in August to between 8 percent and 10 percent, compared with 15 percent to 17 percent previously, as a slowdown in economic growth hurts credit.

“Right now liquidity in the system overall is good,” said Nguyen Tan Thang, fixed-income investment director at Ho Chi Minh City Securities Joint-Stock Co. “If banks have a lot of money, they buy bonds.”

The yield on the notes fell four basis points, or 0.04 percentage point, to 10.15 percent, according to a daily fixing rate from banks compiled by Bloomberg.

Vietnam’s economy may expand 5.2 percent this year, the government said last month, which would be the weakest since 4.8 percent growth in 1999, according to International Monetary Fund data.

Vietnam’s overnight interbank deposit rate, at which banks lend to each other, has fallen 435 basis points since Aug. 24 to 2.45 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The dong traded at 20,885 per dollar as of 3:51 p.m. in Hanoi, compared with 20,883 yesterday, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The State Bank of Vietnam set its reference rate at 20,828, unchanged since Dec. 26, according to the website. The currency is allowed to trade as much as 1 percent on either side of the rate.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nick Heath in Hanoi at nheath2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Regan at jregan19@bloomberg.net

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