PRESS DIGEST - Vietnam newspapers - Nov 1

HANOI Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:18pm EDT

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HANOI Nov 1 (Reuters) - These are some of the leading stories in the official Vietnamese press on Thursday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

FINANCIAL NEWS:

THOI BAO KINH TE VIETNAM

- Banks have bought 60 tonnes of gold from the public since May 2012 for around $3 billion, along with dollar purchases worth $10 billion since the start of this year, central bank governor Nguyen Van Binh said. He estimated 300-400 tonnes of gold was being kept by residents in the country.

- Banks operating in Vietnam will have to solve their bad debts on their own from now until the end of the year, failing which they will not be allowed to pay dividends, central bank governor Nguyen Van Binh said.

ECONOMIC AND GENERAL NEWS:

THANH NIEN

- Four sailors, including the captain of Saigon Shipping Co's ship Saigon Queen, were missing when their ship sank in Sri Lankan waters on Oct. 30, the Vietnam maritime search and rescue co-ordination centre said.

- The government plans to raise the basic salary, which is used to calculate state employees and retirees' actual income, by 100,000 dong ($4.8) in six months from July 2013, which will add 20.7 trillion dong to the budget spending next year, said Finance Minister Vuong Dinh Hue.

- A 51-year-old Chinese man was sentenced to death after a Tay Ninh provincial court found him guilty of drug trafficking from Cambodia to China via a border gate in southern Vietnam, according to the court verdict.

- The Asian Development Bank will prioritise its assistance for Vietnam in areas including agriculture and resources, education, energy, finance, transport, clean water and urban development while it would phase out its involvement in industry and trade, the bank said in its strategy for Vietnam by 2015.

THOI BAO KINH TE VIET NAM

- Vietnam has licensed 70 overseas investment projects with a combined registered capital of $1.37 billion in the first ten months of this year, the Planning and Investment Ministry's Foreign Investment Agency said.

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