Vietnam may raise 2015 lending target to 17 pct - state media



Vietnam could raise its annual credit growth this year to 17 percent to ensure an economic growth of more than 6 percent, a state-run newspaper reported on Wednesday, quoting the central bank governor.


"A strong rise or fall of oil prices will have adverse impact on the stability of the macro economy," State Bank of Vietnam governor Nguyen Van Binh was quoted as saying by the Tin Tuc (News) daily, which is run by the official Vietnam News Agency.


"If in case it is necessary to support growth when oil prices have adverse changes, we could adjust (the target) to around 17 percent to ensure the economy to grow above 6 percent while the macro-economic stability is maintained," Binh was quoted as saying.


Binh could not be reached for comments.


Loans at the end of February grew 0.68 percent from the start of 2015, the central bank said in a statement on Tuesday, compared with a drop of 1.16 percent a year earlier.


Vietnam has targeted lending to accelerate to 13-15 percent this year to ensure an annual economic expansion of 6.2 percent while keeping inflation at 5 percent. Last year the credit growth quickened to 13 percent, from 12.52 percent in 2013.


On March 11 Vietnam raised the retail price of petrol and other oil products by up to 10 percent, reflecting recent gains in global prices.


State utility Vietnam Electricity group raised the average electricity price by 7.5 percent effective March 16, while the government said its 2015 economic targets would still be achievable.


The ANZ has lowered its forecast for Vietnam's inflation this year to 2.6 percent from 3 percent, below a forecast of 2.8 percent by the HSBC, the Vietnam Economic Times reported on March 4.

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