How can Vietnamese transfer USD abroad to pay for house purchases?

Last update 16:00 | 02/08/2017
VietNamNet Bridge – Experts believe that no less than $8-9 billion flows out of Vietnam every year through different channels, despite Vietnam’s tight forex policy.

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A report from NAR (National Association of Realtors) showed that in the last fiscal year, from April 2016 to March 2017, foreigners spent $153 billion to buy 284,455 real estate products in the US.

Of this amount, $3.06 billion, or 2 percent, was spent by Vietnamese. Since 2007, Vietnamese have been among the biggest realty buyers in the country, accounting for 1 percent, except in 2009 and 2012.

Of this amount, $3.06 billion, or 2 percent, was spent by Vietnamese. Since 2007, Vietnamese have been among the biggest realty buyers in the country, accounting for 1 percent, except in 2009 and 2012.

The information has stirred up the public. The question is not why Vietnamese are so rich to be able to buy houses in the US, but how they can transfer money abroad to make payment for house purchases.

Under the current regulations, individuals when traveling abroad must not bring more than $5,000.

Nguyen Tri Hieu, a banking expert, said on Tuoi Tre that SBV keeps strict control over the remittances abroad, while individuals only can remit money to pay for legitimate services such as study and healthcare.

To be able to buy houses in the US and remit money via banks, citizens have to make investments or set up businesses in the US. However, the number of these investors is modest. Therefore, Hieu thinks the money has been transferred through unofficial channels.

Dung, a woman in HCMC who has bought a house in Houston, Texas, when interviewed by Thanh Nien about how to transfer money abroad, said she did this through different channels. The majority of the amount of money was transferred through intermediary services with the fee of 1 percent.

She had to give money to service providers in Vietnam in advance and her partner will receive the money after 3-4 days. The service is a referral from her friends. Dung said there are many such money transfer rings.

“The money may be exchanged with kieu hoi remitters from the US, or with travelers and businesspeople who come to Vietnam,” she said.

Meanwhile, a HCMC-based company which gives consultancy on buying houses in the US said the company has a partner which provides kieu hoi services with branches in many countries, including the US. An executive of the company affirmed that the remittance of millions of dollars can be implemented through the company very quickly.

Besides, money can also be transferred under the mode of export contracts signed between Vietnamese and US companies. The fee for the service is 2-3 percent.

Le Hoang Chau from the Vietnam Real Estate Association said if the figure released by NAR is true, this means there are loopholes in forex management.

This entry was posted in Corruption - Tham nhũng, Governance - Công quyền, Hiding properties - Tẩu tán tài sản, Money laudering - Rửa tiền and tagged , , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development ( I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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