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Vietnam's H1 2015 trade deficit seen at US$3.8b

Foreign firms are set to capitalise on Vietnam's privatisation drive and buy into assets such as Vinamilk and Mobifone to gain exposure to its fast-growing economy this year, boosting M&A deals that already hit a record US$4 billion in 2015.

[HANOI] Vietnam's trade deficit in the first half of this year could reach US$3.8 billion, swinging from a surplus in the same period a year ago, a state-run newspaper said on Friday.

Exports in the January-June period are estimated at US$77.7 billion, while imports could reach US$81.5 billion, the Vietnam Economic Times newspaper reported, citing planning and investment ministry data.

It gave no breakdowns for June. The government is expected to release full trade details for June and the first half of this year later this month.

Vietnam recorded a trade surplus of US$1.51 billion in the first half of 2014, taking its surplus to US$2.14 billion for the whole of last year.

The government has projected a trade deficit of US$6 billion in 2015 as imports are forecast to accelerate 15.2 per cent to US$171 billion after rising 12 per cent in 2014.

Exports in 2015 are projected at US$165 billion, or a rise of 10 per cent, after climbing 13.7 per cent last year.