HANOI, July 16 (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.
- It will take banks five to seven years to deal with bad debt if the banking system itself is allowed to cope with the issue, said Le Xuan Nghia, member of the National Monetary Policy Advisory Council.
- Bond transactions by foreign investors in the first half of this year reached 19.1 trillion dong ($916 million), or roughly a fifth of the market's total, showing investors' increasing interest in government debt, said Tran Van Dung, general director of the Hanoi Stock Exchange.
- BIDV, Vietnam's biggest partly private lender by assets, said it has offered loans at the rates of 9-11 percent for exports and 12 percent for priority sectors.
- Cutting the lending rate on dong loans to 15 percent as of July 15 in line with a central bank's order will create many difficulties for banks, especially smaller lenders, bankers said.
- State equity in state-run groups and corporations is estimated at 653 trillion dong ($31 billion), said Do Hoang Anh Tuan, Deputy Minister of Finance.
- The People's Council of the southern city of Can Tho said it has suggested municipal authorities revoke the investment licence of the $538 million Can Tho oil refinery as the investors have failed to develop it after repeated extensions.
- TNK Vietnam, a 100 percent subsidiary of Russia's third-largest crude producer TNK-BP, plans to produce 4.6 billion cubic metres of gas from block 06.1 in Vietnam this year, said Hugh MacIntosh, General Director of TNK Vietnam.
- Petrovietnam is considering buying the 11 percent stake of state-run Vinachem in the $4.5-billion Long Son Petrochemical, after Vinachem announced it is pulling out, said Tran Thi Binh, Deputy General Director of Petrovietnam.
- Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has allowed the Labour Ministry to work with the Foreign Ministry on resuming sending Vietnamese workers to Libya.
- Imports from China were estimated at $13 billion, accounting for 25 percent of Vietnam's total imports in the first six months this year, said Vietnam Customs.
- Food and confectionary producers said they have been facing difficulties buying sugar in domestic markets even after the trade and agriculture ministries said the country faced no shortage.
$1=20,840 dong Reporting by Hanoi Newsroom; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi