Friday, January 28, 2011

Vietnam’s black market alchemists

Life is not easy when annual inflation is more than 12 per cent, your currency is likely to be devalued again shortly and you have to splash out on overpriced Lunar New Year gifts to impress your friends, family and colleagues.

But Vietnamese people, long faced with macroeconomic instability, have become expert at cooking up black market schemes to make a little money on the side. The latest ruse, picked up by the Phnom Penh Post, involves travelling to neighbouring Cambodia, withdrawing dollars from an ATM at the official dong-dollar exchange rate and then converting the greenbacks back to Vietnam dong at the superior black market exchange rate.

Read the rest of this blog post over at the FT's Beyond Brics, which is free to all comers.

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