HANOI, Jan 4 (Reuters) - These are some of the leading stories in the official Vietnamese press on Friday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
-- VietinBank said it would offer a credit package of 1 trillion dong ($48 million) for production and trading at rates of 9-11 percent by April.
-- Red River Holding said it had bought an additional 29,000 shares of Vinh Hoan Corp, one of Vietnam’s biggest catfish exporters, raising its ownership in the firm to 15.54 percent.
-- Several banks have been offering rates at up to 11.5 percent for short-term dong deposits despite the central bank’s cap at 8 percent, bankers and clients said.
-- The real estate market’s bad debt is estimated at 13.5 percent of the total lending to the sector, and nearly all developers have difficulty repaying because of their unsold inventory, said Construction Minister Trinh Dinh Dung.
VIETNAM NEWS (vietnamnews.vnagency.com.vn)
-- The government has earmarked 379 billion dong ($18 million) for two programmes this year to improve environment quality and the country’s ability to cope with climate change.
-- Purchasing power in domestic markets ahead of Tet, or the Lunar New Year festival, is forecast to rise 5-10 percent from the previous year, down from an average 20 percent growth in earlier years, the trade ministry said.
-- Vietnam spent $4.47 billion to import mobile phones and iPhones in 2012, an increase of 70 percent from the previous year, the Ministry of Industry and Trade said.
-- The Vietnam National Coffee Corporation, or Vinacafe, will operate as a wholly state-owned company for 2012-2015 while it will have to divest from a number of firms, according to a restructuring scheme approved by the government. (Reporting by Hanoi Newsroom; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)