Vietnam imposes tough fines on violators of monetary rules

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Vietnam's central bank has imposed stiff penalties on two companies and a university in Hanoi for violating regulations on U.S. dollar trading and illegally listing prices in the foreign currency.

The combined fine of VND650 million (US$30,940) showed that the State Bank of Vietnam is getting more serious about tightening control over the forex market.

Central bank inspectors said Ngoc Long Co., a gold trader, has engaged in illegal dollar trading. It was fined VND100 million and ordered to hand in US$12,195 to the authorities. The company was also asked to sell to a commercial bank a dollar amount worth $10,000 that its director voluntarily reported to inspectors.

Another gold trading company, My Phuong, was caught by inspectors attempting to sell $1,000 to a client. It has also been ordered to sell the amount to a commercial bank and pay a fine of VND50 million.

Meanwhile, the central bank fined FPT University VND500 million for publishing tuition fees in dollars. The information technology school has been told to stop advertising and listing fees in the foreign currency.

Vietnam last month increased penalties for foreign currency and gold trading violations, raising the maximum fine to VND500 million (US$23,860).

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung last week ordered the central bank to take strong measures to keep the exchange rate stable.

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