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Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Sacombank) has been granted a license by the National Bank of Cambodia to open a Branch in Phnom Penh. The license B7.08.1204 SCN (released on 23 December 2008) makes Sacombank as the first Vietnamese Bank to venture to Cambodia. Under the terms of the license, Sacombank has started preparing the construction of the Branch premises and recruiting and training personnel. Sacombank Cambodia Branch shall start in June 2009.

Vietnam Banks Association and member commercial banks> yesterday met to discuss an adjustment in the lending rates for the businesses. Accordingly, businesses that had borrowed loans at high rates ranging between 15 and 21% per annum could enjoy banks' consideration of premature lending rate reduction. Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Sacombank) is studying deposit rates and selecting corporate borrowers with the lending rate of 15-12.75%/year.

The VN-Index gained 2.13 points on Jan. 6, closing the day at 314.04, as trading volumes improved on the HCM Stock Exchange. Volume rose by 41 percent over the Jan. 5 session to 10.3 million shares on a turnover of about 257 billion VND (15.12 million USD), while the day witnessed 108 gainers and 32 losers. VietFund Management (VFMVF1) and Saigon Securities Inc (SSI) were the most active codes on the day, each racking up a volume of about 1.1 million. Foreign investors helped drive the improved volumes, responsible for about 3.5 million shares changing hands.

Vietnam aims to keep credit growth next year in the banking system at around 20%, similar to this year's rate, as part of efforts to stave off an economic downturn, a central bank source said on Tuesday.  "The main focus for the banking sector next year is to avoid an economic slowdown and to maintain growth," said the official, who attended a end of the year policy meeting organised by the central bank on Tuesday.

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