Vietnam reaffirms inflation control plan

TN News

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Vietnam will continue to tighten control over consumer prices through the end of the year as the country aims to keep inflation at 8 percent.

At a press conference held on Thursday, Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said it will be necessary to keep an eye on milk and medicine prices in particular.

Phuc said the government believes it can keep inflation under its target maximum, but that does not mean there is no need to maintain vigilance.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has ordered drastic measures to be taken to keep prices stable and ensure enough supplies of consumer goods, Phuc said.

Consumer prices in Vietnam climbed 8.92 percent in September compared to a year earlier, according to figures released last week by the General Statistics Office in Hanoi.

Meanwhile, the Asian Development Bank on Tuesday forecast that Vietnam's inflation this year will reach 8.5 percent.

Vinashin's restructuring

Talking to the press on Thursday, Phuc said state-owned shipbuilder Vinashin has raised US$75 million by selling five ships. The group planned to sell another 35 ships for a total of around $160 million by year's end.

He said the 70,000 jobs at Vinashin have been secured. He also said new blood will be brought into the company, including a new chairman.

Vietnamese police have arrested five former Vinashin officials amid a financial investigation in to the company, which teetered on the verge of bankruptcy this summer. Pham Thanh Binh, the company's former chairman and chief executive officer, was arrested in August.

Deputy Transport Minister Nguyen Hong Truong announced that the government has lent $3 million from its bond proceeds to Vinashin so that the company could repay the remaining debt owed to France's Natixis Bank.

The loan did not come from the $1 billion 10-year bond issued in January as reported by local media, he said.

Truong also said many Japanese and Taiwanese investors have expressed interest in buying Vinashin's factories, but so far no official purchase offers have been made.

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