Cheap loans worth VND241.1 trillion planned for HCMC firms
The Saigon Times Daily
HCMC – Fifteen banks have registered with the State Bank of Vietnam’s (SBV) HCMC branch to provide VND241.1 trillion (US$10.6 billion) in preferential loans for HCMC-based enterprises this year.
The Vietnam News Agency cites To Duy Lam, director of the SBV’s HCMC branch, as saying at a conference on the 2017 banking sector development plan on Tuesday that the city’s banking system this year would try to cut interest rates for short-term loans to a maximum of 7% and those for medium- and long-term credit to 8-10%.
The central bank’s city branch will continue conducting the enterprise-bank matching program to give loans to different business fields and five priority sectors of agriculture and rural development, production of export goods, small- and medium enterprises (SMEs), supporting industries, and high-tech enterprises. Besides, it will adopt measures to boost credit growth in a safe and efficient manner.
HCMC chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong told the conference that banking is one of the nine pivotal service sectors in the southern economic hub. To back the banking sector’s growth, the city government has taken a number of measures such as restructuring ailing banks and executing the enterprise and bank matching program.
The city expects the SBV will continue monitoring market developments, detecting potential risks at credit institutions, joining hands with the city government to restructure banks and improving the banking system’s competitiveness and network security.
Phong said banks should focus on branding and gaining customer confidence to attract more deposits so as to inject more credit into the economy.
The shopping season ahead of the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday (Tet) is reaching its peak, meaning an upsurge in transactions and payments. Therefore, banks should conduct Tet operation plans well.
This year, the city’s banking system will strive to help hi-tech agriculture firms and startups gain easy access to credit.
The 2017 credit growth is put at 18% in HCMC and banks are tasked with offering sufficient capital for the economy. Meanwhile, capital mobilization is projected to increase 16% and the bad debt ratio is capped at 3%.
SBV governor Le Minh Hung said banks in the city must coordinate with the central bank to ensure macro-economic stability, control inflation and keep interest rates, especially medium- and long-term ones, at reasonable levels.
They must improve the quality of credit, restructure loans to minimize risks and keep a close eye on short-term funds used for making medium and long-term loans.
Hung said some banks had been restructured in the past five years and the central bank has submitted the 2016-2020 banking restructuring scheme to the Government.
In the coming time, the banking system will step up reforms, integrate into regional and global financial systems, improve capability and apply international standards for the banking sector to create a level playing field for domestic and foreign investors.