April 22 (Reuters) - These are some of the leading stories in the official Vietnamese press on Monday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
-- Bad debt hit 50.91 trillion dong ($2.44 billion), or 5.98 percent of the total loans extended by banks in Ho Chi Minh City as of early April, with more than 60 percent of the debt being unrecoverable, the central bank branch in the city said.
THOI BAO KINH TE VIETNAM
-- Banks need to apply a central bank circular to identify bad debt while companies will not have to apply the June 1 deadline stipulated in the circular, State Bank of Vietnam Governor Nguyen Van Binh said.
-- State-owned Agribank said its loans to the agricultural sector and rural areas rose 1.2 percent as of March 31 from the end of 2012 to 324 trillion dong ($15.5 billion), accounting for nearly 70 percent of the bank's total loans.
-- A dong devaluation will not benefit Vietnam's economy because the country will face a trade deficit for at least the next five years, and the central bank will allow the dollar/dong rate to move by no more than 2 percent this year, governor Nguyen Van Binh said.
-- A draft decree on the establishment of a derivative stock market will be submitted to the government in December and would be issued next year, said the State Securities Commission, the stock market regulator.
ECONOMIC AND GENERAL NEWS:
VIETNAM INVESTMENT REVIEW
-- Russia's Buscenter Met Co has received an approval to build a $1 billion factory to produce buses, cars and agricultural equipment in the central province of Binh Dinh, a provincial official said.
SAIGON GIAI PHONG
-- State oil and gas group Petrovietnam has been opposing to the proposal of Thailand's PTT PCL to build the $27-billion Nhon Hoi oil refinery in the central province of Binh Dinh for fear of losing its monopoly in Vietnam's oil and gas industry, an economist said.
-- Small- and medium-sized businesses can borrow up to 70 percent of the funds for their investment projects which are worth no more than 30 billion dong ($1.43 million) from a state fund, a government decision said, in a move to support the sector.
THOI BAO KINH TE VIETNAM
-- Vietnam's wood product exports could rise 15-17 percent this year from 2012 to $5.2 billion to $5.5 billion, led by the shipments to the United States and China, said the Vietnam Timber and Forest Product Association.
($1 = 20,910 dong)
(Compiled by Hanoi Newsroom; Editing by Anand Basu) Keywords: PRESS DIGEST VIETNAM/
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