HANOI, Sept 17 (Reuters) - These are some of the leading stories in the official Vietnamese press on Monday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
- Companies are reluctant to get bank loans even though lending rates have been cut to as low as 9 percent because of slow sales and contraction in production, the central bank said.
- Banks have been offering short-term deposit rates at 11-12 percent, well above the central bank's cap of 9 percent, in a bid to attract more funds to ensure liquidity because capital demand tends to increase at the end of the year, bankers said.
- Partly private Western Bank said it would raise 200 billion dong ($9.6 million) via dong-denominated bills until Nov. 12 at a rate of 9 percent.
- Several lenders have raised rates of long-term dong deposits to a new high of 13 percent from 12 percent to avoid a cash crunch, bankers said.
- Japan's petroleum company Idemitsu Kosan Co Ltd said it will open a $23.3 million lubricant manufacturing and sales company in the northern port city of Haiphong, which is expected to start operation in 2014.
- The sixth turbine of the Son La hydro power plant will start operation by the end of this month, raising the plant's total capacity to 2,400 megawatts, the facility's operators said.
- The Industry and Trade Ministry said it has granted licences to 24 companies to export rice in the long term.
- Vietnam will require 20 trillion dong ($960 million) for irrigation improvement projects by 2020, Deputy Agriculture Minister Hoang Van Thang said.
$1=20,830 dong Reporting by Hanoi Newsroom; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu