Overseas remittances to Vietnam through banks in southern Ho Chi Minh City hit 1.9 billion U.S. dollars in the first half of 2013, an increase of 3 percent year on year, state-run Vietnam News Agency reported on Thursday. The figure for the whole year is expected to reach 4.5-4.8 billion U.S. dollars, according to the State Bank of Vietnam. Overseas remittances to southern Ho Chi Minh City accounted for 42-43 percent of the country\'s total amount. In 2012, the city received 4.1 billion U.S. dollars, of which 70 percent was invested in business, 23 percent in real estate, and the rest for the senders\' relatives. Normally, remittances to Vietnam climb substantially during the final months of the year as the traditional lunar New Year Festival (Tet) approaches. In 2012, overseas remittances to the country totaled 10 billion U.S. dollars, the highest figure for the last four years. Vietnam ranked ninth on the World Bank\'s list of top-ten countries that attracted the most overseas remittances in 2012 and ranked second in the Southeast Asian region. Statistics show that 4.5 million Vietnamese, including more than 400,000 guest workers, are living in more than 100 countries and territories worldwide, of whom over 80 percent were settled in developed nations. Vietnam plans to send 90,000 people to work overseas in 2013, mainly to South Korea, Malaysia, Russia and China\'s Taiwan, over last year\'s figure of 80,000 people, according to Vietnamese Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs.