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Leading partially-private lender Eximbank said its profits fell by 30 percent to US$102.7 million last year due to slower growth in loans.

Early last year, the State Bank of Vietnam limited Eximbank to a 17 percent loan growth limit, but its loans expanded only 0.3 percent in a tough year for the Vietnamese banking sector.

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Sacombank, which has recently announced a possible merger with Eximbank, has announced profits of just $34 million last year compared to $96 million in 2011.

Loans growth, however, was impressive at 19 percent in a bad year for the banking system. But Sacombank had to raise bad debt provisions fourfold to $64 million, contributing to the decreased profit.

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Vietnam's fourth-largest partly private lender ACB, has reported a 75 percent decline in profits last year due to heavy losses on gold and foreign currency estimated at $89.4 million.

ACB and many other banks had earlier sold gold deposits to plow back into other businesses, but they had immediately import gold in order to repay all the deposits and interest to customers before central bank's ban on gold deposits took effect late last year.

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Vietnam's largest listed housing developer Vingroup profited $88.67 million last year, up 72 percent amid the prolonged property slump.

The company, which developed luxury shopping mall Vincom Center A in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, said its revenues from office and retail rents increased 60 percent.

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