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US DFC considers $500 million loan to Vietnamese EV maker VinFast

FILE PHOTO: A Vinfast electric vehicle retail store in California

HANOI (Reuters) - The United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has signed a letter of interest with electric vehicles maker VinFast to consider the Vietnamese company's application for a $500 million loan for expansion, VinFast said on Monday.

The loan, which will be used to support VinFast's establishment of lithium-ion battery manufacturing facilities in Vietnam, is subject to a comprehensive review and approval process by DFC, the carmaker said in a statement.

DFC said on X, formerly Twitter, that it had signed the letter of interest to support VinFast's lithium-ion battery facilities in Vietnam, but did not provide details. It did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

VinFast, founded in 2017 and backed by Vietnam's largest conglomerate Vingroup, started to deliver electric cars in California in March and made its Nasdaq debut in late August.

It closed down 7.2% at $7.84 per share on Friday.

The project will be the first in a series of initiatives actively discussed by the two parties, VinFast said.

"DFC financing would set a path forward for VinFast's global expansion strategy and its journey toward a greener future for all," said Le Thi Thu Thuy, head of VinFast.

To date, DFC has provided support in the amount of $737 million to development projects in Vietnam, making the country its largest market in Southeast Asia, VinFast said in the statement.

(Reporting by Phuong Nguyen; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor)