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Dong advances in black market as policy makers pledge dollars   2009-12-03 - Bloomberg

Vietnam’s dong rose in the black market after the central bank said it will sell US dollars to banks to ensure a sufficient supply of the foreign currency. Five-year bonds declined.

Ten large banks in the nation pledged to meet demand for the greenback and the central bank is committed to “strong intervention” to stabilize the market, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported Thursday, citing Nguyen Phuoc Thanh, chief executive officer of Joint-Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam. The State Bank of Vietnam on Nov. 30 said it will sell dollars to commercial banks that have a foreign-currency deficit of more than 5 percent.

“The central bank’s announcement has eased concern about a shortage of the greenback,” said Bui Thi Thu Ha, a fixed-income dealer at Hanoi-based Global Petroleum Commercial Joint-Stock Bank, known as GP-Bank.

The dong traded at 18,482 per dollar as of 3 p.m. in Hanoi Thursday, from 18,486 Wednesday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The currency rose to between 19,230 and 19,330 at money changers in Ho Chi Minh City as of 2:30 p.m. Thursday, compared with 19,450 to 19,520 Wednesday, according to a telephone directory information service, known as 1080, run by state-owned Vietnam Posts & Telecommunications.

The central bank set Thursday’s reference rate at 17,945, compared with 17,948 Wednesday. The currency is allowed to trade up to 3 percent on either side of the official rate.

The yield on the benchmark five-year bond rose one basis point to 11.27 percent Thursday, according to a daily fixing price from banks compiled by Bloomberg. A basis point is 0.01 percentage point.

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