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Vietnam begins $1-billion bond roadshow   2010-01-19 - AFP

Vietnam on Monday began a roadshow to market one billion US dollars worth of international bonds for investment in the country's first oil refinery and other projects, the state bank said.


Deputy Finance Minister Tran Xuan Ha is leading the tour starting in Hong Kong on Monday followed by London on Tuesday, and Boston and New York later in the week, the State Bank of Vietnam said in a statement.

The bonds will have a 10-year term, it said.

Capital will be used by state corporations for investment in the Dung Quat refinery, which opened last year but which the state-owned oil and gas group, PetroVietnam, said is too small.

Dung Quat's current capacity is 6.5 million tons a year or 148,000 barrels per day.

The state bank said capital from the bond sale would also fund the purchase of transport vessels, and hydro-power plants.

Vietnam's economy grew 5.32 percent last year but that expansion came at a high cost, with a budget deficit that reached seven percent of gross domestic product.

After burning through its official dollar reserves, Vietnam in November devalued the dong in a bid to bolster trade, which has suffered during the global financial crisis.

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