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PacNet #60 – Vietnam: Empower The Press To Fight Social Diseases

The Aug. 20 arrest of Nguyen Duc Kien, known as "Bau Kien" (Master Kien), stunned many Vietnamese. Kien is one of the richest men in Vietnam and famous for his determination to reform the Vietnamese Football Federation. According to official media, Kien was initially charged with serious illegal economic activities. Kien is a big investor in many banks and he had significant influence in Vietnam’s banking system. The tycoon’s arrest shocked the Vietnamese economy, leading to a 4.67 percent drop in the largest Vietnamese stock market index (VN-Index), a rise in retail gold prices and the value of the US dollar in Vietnam. The social and economic effects of this incident were so extensive that the State Securities Commission of Vietnam had to call on investors in the stock market to stay calm, and the Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (VSB) affirmed that the VSB was ready to support commercial banks should a significant increase in money withdrawal requests occur.