Experts differ in views on exchange rate fluctuation

Monday, Jan 06, 2014 20:07

The stability continued on the foreign exchange market in 2013, with the national foreign exchange reserves amounting to $30 billion. -- Photo

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — Views vary about the USD/VND exchange rate fluctuation scenarios this year, according to a recent poll organised by the online newspaper VnEconomy that was conducted among 16 economists and business leaders.

Nine respondents said the rate would fluctuate within the +/-2 per cent amplitude, in line with Government targets.

Vo Tri Thanh, deputy director of the Central Institute for Economic Management, forecast that the rate would be 21,300-21,600 per US dollar in 2014, equivalent to a 1.72-2.68 per cent depreciation of the dong compared with the current inter-bank exchange rate.

Six experts anticipated that the rate could see +/- 3 per cent changes in 2014.

The stability continued on the foreign exchange market last year, with the exchange rate increasing by 1.3 per cent and the national foreign exchange reserves amounting to about US$30 billion, VnEconomy reported.

Banking expert Vu Dinh Anh said the target of controlling the fluctuation amplitude at +/- 2 per cent was within reach, adding that maintaining the dong value had helped exports increase 15-18 per cent per annum and had also led to the nation achieving a trade surplus over the last two years.

"Foreign investment capital inflows and overseas remittances increased, driving the payment balance surplus and the foreign exchange reserves to reach a record high of over $30 billion," he claimed. "It's evident that maintaining the exchange rate stability has brought more gains than losses."

He noted that such an amplitude was backed by the Government's ability to intervene in the foreign exchange market, which had significantly improved over the last two years.

Nguyen Duc Thanh, director of the Viet Nam Centre for Economic and Policy Research, pointed out that the dong would stay strong whether it was kept stable or depreciated by 2-3 per cent, but the exchange rate issue would require attention in 2014.

He said a stable exchange rate would threaten all domestic manufacturing industries in the coming years, especially for areas that had to compete with imported goods. Harsh competition was possible from neighbouring countries such as Thailand and Indonesia.

"But the more the exchange rate is adjusted, the more pressure it will generate for policy-makers. This remains a puzzle," he added.

Le Anh Tuan, Dragon Capital research director, said foreign investors had become more confident about the exchange rate situation with the improved conditions of foreign exchange reserves and other macro-level balances.

He noted that the exchange rate fluctuation of 1-1.5 per cent would be normal and suggested that the nation should tune the rate daily to gradually reach targets and avoid emotional perspectives such as Viet Nam being forced to devalue the dong due to market pressure. — VNS

Comments (0)