HANOI, Vietnam, June 28 (UPI) -- Vietnam's central bank has devalued currency by 1 percent and cut interest rates, saying the moves would improve the balance of payments and spur the economy.
The announcement by the State Bank of Vietnam devalued the dong to 21,036 to the U.S. dollar, effective Friday, from the previous exchange rate of 20,828 to a dollar.
The bank said the currency adjustment is aimed at improving the balance of payments and increasing foreign exchange reserves, and at boosting exports, the Vietnam News Agency reported.
The central bank said short-term lending rates for priority sectors, including agriculture, exports, high-tech businesses and small and medium enterprises would be cut to 9 percent from 10 percent. The bank also cut the dong deposit rate cap to 7 percent from 7.5 percent.
The bank said the adjustments were made "to more accurately reflect the supply and demand of foreign currency in the market" and to "create stability" for the foreign-exchange market.
Vietnam News said the country's inflation has come down from almost 23 per cent in August 2011 to 6.5 percent, bringing the embattled economy closer to achieving a growth rate of 5.3 percent this year.