Wires

Vietnam's foreign exchange reserves near record $80 bln - prime minister

HANOI, Dec 30 (Reuters) - Vietnam's foreign exchange reserves hit a new high of almost $80 billion, with a quarter of it bought this year, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said at a forum on Monday.

Foreign exchange reserves of the Southeast Asian country have been growing steadily in recent years, backed by robust exports.

"The increase in foreign exchange reserves, used to stabilize currency and control inflation, is a positive economic indicators of 2019, although there remained concerns over growth as the scale of the economy has expanded in the past few years," Phuc said, adding the State Bank of Vietnam had bought $20 billion in foreign currencies this year.

The Southeast Asian country posted GDP growth above 7% for second year running, with a $9.94 billion trade surplus in 2019, official data showed.

(Reporting by Phuong Nguyen; Editing by Kim Coghill)