Vietnam rejects proposal to hike petrol prices

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The Ministry of Finance has turned down a proposal by fuel distributors to raise retail petroleum prices, and asked them to ensure stable supply for the market.

Vietnam reduced the price of oil products by 2.3 percent late August, after consumer prices rose 23 percent. The retail price of 92-RON gasoline, the most commonly used fuel product in the country, was slightly cut to VND20,800 a liter from VND21,300.

Around two weeks after the price cut, several fuel distributors including PV Oil and Saigon Petro, started seeking a hike. News website VnExpress cited the companies as saying they were making losses due to rising prices of imported oil products.

Petrolimex, the largest fuel trader with a market share of more than 60 percent, was not among the firms asking for a price increase, VnExpress reported.

The Finance Ministry, however, wants petrol prices to be kept unchanged. It has also requested fuel traders to continue contributing VND300, or around 1.5 US cents, per liter to the petrol price stabilization fund.

According to the ministry, the fund has proved effective, helping keep local prices stable despite fluctuations in world oil prices.

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