Central bank exec expects 31 pct rise in HCMC remittances

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A central bank executive has predicted that inward remittances to Ho Chi Minh City will top $5 billion this year, a 31.6 percent rise from last year, according to a Dau Tu newspaper report published November 8.

The estimate by Nguyen Hoang Minh, deputy director of the State Bank of Vietnam's HCMC branch, is higher than the country's earlier forecast of $4.5-4.8 billion.

The city has accounted for 40 percent of the country's total remittances on average with over $33 billion in the past ten years.

The money comes mainly from the US, Europe, Australia, South Korea, and East Asia.

The World Bank forecast remittances to Vietnam to hit $11 billion this year compared to $10 billion last year, when the country was the world's ninth largest recipient.

The amount sent by overseas Vietnamese to their relatives accounts for the largest chunk while workers' remittances make up just a fifth, according to Minh.

News website Saigon Times quoted Tran Van Trung, director of the DongA Money Transfer Co, as saying the strong remittance growth was due to the improving employment situation in developed countries, currently at 4-5 percent, down from 9-10 percent years ago.

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