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VIETNAM: Overseas Investors Cleared to Use Foreign Currency in New Privatisation Round

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), the country’s central bank, has announced liberalised arrangements for the use of foreign currency by overseas investors participating in the privatisation of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs). Accordingly, as of 13 May, interested overseas investors are to be permitted to submit foreign currency deposits or provide collateral in foreign currency when bidding to:

  • acquire a stake in any of the country’s SOEs that have been approved for privatisation by the government
  • acquire (in part or in full) previously state-owned shares that have been approved for divestment from SOEs and other enterprises
  • acquire (in part or in full) SOE-owned shares that have been approved for divestment from other enterprises

Successful overseas bidders will be required to transfer the requisite amount in foreign currency for the purchase of the aforementioned shares. In the case of unsuccessful bids, investors will be permitted to repatriate the amount previously deposited in foreign currency after the deduction of any relevant administrative charges. Previously, approval from the SBV had been required before such foreign currency deposits could be deemed acceptable.

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