Vietnam Stocks Climb to 5-Week High on Central Bank Loans Order

July 19 (Bloomberg) -- Vietnamese stocks advanced, pushing the benchmark index to the highest close in five weeks, after the central bank ordered lenders to boost loans to businesses.

The Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange’s VN Index rose 1.4 percent to 503.76, the highest close since June 14. Vietnam Dairy Products Joint-Stock Co., the country’s second-biggest listed company by market value, climbed 2.9 percent to a record. Joint-Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam climbed 1.5 percent to the highest level since June 28.

The State Bank of Vietnam requested commercial lenders to increase loans to help industries including farming, fisheries and coffee, targeting 12 percent credit growth by the end of this year, according to a statement on its website yesterday. Banks must implement measures to ensure sufficient liquidity to cover an expected rise in demand for business loans toward the end of this year, according to the statement.

“The message is that the government and the central bank want to push economic growth, as inflation is stable,” Attila Vajda, Ho Chi Minh City-based analyst at ACB Securities Co., said today.

Vietnam’s economy expanded 4.9 percent in the first half from a year earlier, compared with the median estimate of 5 percent in a Bloomberg survey of seven economists. The government is aiming for growth of 5.5 percent this year. That would be the first time the economy has grown less than 6 percent for three consecutive years since 1988, according to data on the International Monetary Fund’s website.

The country may meet its target of curbing inflation to 7 percent this year, the Ministry of Planning and Investment said in a statement earlier this month. Consumer price growth accelerated to more than 20 percent for five consecutive months in June through October 2011.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Nguyen Kieu Giang in Hanoi at giang1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Patterson at mpatterson10@bloomberg.net