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Nov 12, 2020 / 18:15

Vietnam has first female bank governor in history

The new governor is under pressure to keep bad debt in the banking system under control.

Vietnam’s National Assembly on Thursday approved the appointment of a female candidate for the post of governor of the country’s central bank.

Nguyen Thi Hong, new governor of the State Bank of Vietnam. Photo: SBV 

Nguyen Thi Hong, 52, is the new governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) with an approval rate of 97%, becoming the first female governor of the central bank in its seven-decade history.

Ms. Hong is the only female member of the incumbent 26-member cabinet.

Born in Hanoi, Ms. Hong has been working in the SBV for 30 years and had been a deputy governor since 2014. She replaces Le Minh Hung, who has been appointed head of the Central Party Committee's Office.

“Hong is an experienced central bank official and I'm confident that she will be able to handle the new job pretty well,” Reuters quoted Ho Chi Minh City-based economist Le Tham Duong as saying.

Mr. Duong said the SBV would continue to focus on maintaining macro stability, adding that it has sufficient room to adjust its monetary policy in a flexible manner to steer the economy through the coronavirus pandemic.

“The foreign exchange reserves are at a record high and the central bank has ample room to adjust its policy rates,” Mr. Duong said.

Ms. Hong faces the challenge of keeping bad debt in the banking system under control amid the Covid-19 pandemic and an ongoing investigation by the US into whether Vietnam had been undervaluing its dong currency.

In 2019, she was honored by Forbes Vietnam as one of the 50 most influential women in Vietnam.