Vietnam raises key rate again in inflation fight

TN News

Email Print

Vietnam stepped up its battle against Southeast Asia's highest inflation on Friday, raising a key interest rate for the third time in less than two months.

The refinancing rate, which sets the cost of commercial lenders' borrowings from the central bank, was hiked to 13 percent from 12 percent, the State Bank of Vietnam said on its website.

It said the rise will be effective from April 1.

SBV did not give a reason for its decision but economists say the government has been tightening monetary policy to fight inflation, which it has called its number-one priority.

Prior to a series of rate hikes that began in mid-February the refinancing rate was 9 percent.

The discount rate, which applies to more urgent borrowing, is unchanged at 12 percent while the base rate remains 9 percent.

Economic stabilization, rather than growth, has become the government's main focus as it grapples with a complicated mix of challenges including a struggling currency and a trade deficit.

On Thursday the government said it aims to slash public investment by more than US$2 billion this year as part of the stabilization measures.

Officials also announced almost $150 million in assistance for low-income earners trying to cope with inflation which was expected to hit a two-year high of 13.9 percent year-on-year in March, according to official estimates.

More Business News