Vietnam's bad debt dips to 4.46 pct of loans in June-cbank
HANOI Aug 29 (Reuters) - Bad debt ratio in Vietnam's banking system eased for a second straight month, and was 4.46 percent of the total loans in June, down from 4.65 percent in the previous month, the central bank said.
Non-performing loans (NPLs) in June were still above the figures at end of 2012, when 4.08 percent of loans were bad, according to data from the State Bank of Vietnam.
The bank did not provide any value for the bad debt as of June. It was around 148 trillion dong ($7 billion) in May, based on the central bank's data.
Independent experts have estimated the ratio could be considerably higher.
Credit ratings agency Fitch said in July that the broad range of NPL estimates came from poor transparency, classification and accounting.
Bad debts rose every month in the first four months of 2013, peaking at 4.67 percent in April before easing slightly in May, data showed.
Last month, Vietnam launched an asset firm to buy up the bad debts of its banks, a move touted as one of its biggest reforms but seen as merely a band-aid fix for its ailing, credit-starved economy.
But the firm has yet to start buying bad debt, financial analysts said, as the action is closely followed on domestic markets for clues of easing credit. ($1=21,110 dong) (Compiled by Ho Binh Minh; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)
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