Term bank deposits for foreigners


HÀ NỘI — The State Bank of Việt Nam (SBV) is collecting feedback on a draft circular that will, among other things, allow non-residents legally present in Việt Nam to make term deposits in both Vietnamese đồng and foreign currencies.

The central bank argues that the permission is a measure to prevent “hot money flows,” or flow of funds from one country to another to earn short-term profit on interest rates differences, from entering the exchange market. It is also a way to ensure the legal rights of non-residents present in the country, it says.

The draft, released on July 4, has thus far received positive feedback from commercial banks and other credit institutions. Directors at a majority of the banks consider the circular a significant improvement over previous regulations, the SBV has reported. They say the new rules can help attract another source of capital and utilise idle capital from expatriates working in Việt Nam.

Furthermore, by allowing foreigners to switch from using a current account in Vietnamese đồng or foreign currency to using term deposits, authorities will also find it much easier to control the flow of capital from this group.

It is hoped that with  interest rates on deposits in foreign currencies at zero per cent, the five to eight per cent interest rates for deposits in Vietnamese dong will motivate more people to deposit their savings in the local currency.

The central bank said that previously, non resident foreigners in Việt Nam were only allowed to open current accounts in Vietnamese Đồng or foreign currencies, so the new circular will also help advance the government’s aim to move towards a national cashless payment system, and better control foreign currency flows.

The draft circular defines non residents as individuals present in Việt Nam for 12 months or less, who are currently working, undergoing medical treatment, travelling for recreational purposes, or any employees of foreign embassies, organisations and companies in Việt Nam regardless of time limit.

At present, the SBV is trying to alleviate pressure on interest rates by increasing liquidity in the money market.

This has happened because the central bank has purchased more foreign currencies to increase its reserves, according to a second quarter report by the Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research (VEPR).


Source: ViêtNam News    Photo: CBR Investment Ltd