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Survey shows lending rates still hover around 19%

By Thanh Thuong - The Saigon Times Daily
Saturday,  May 26,2012,22:59 (GMT+7)
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Survey shows lending rates still hover around 19%

By Thanh Thuong - The Saigon Times Daily

HCMC – Some 44% of corporate borrowers are offered lending rates at over 19%, while the acceptable rate is said to be below 14% per annum, says a survey of the HCMC Statistics Office.

From April 10 to May 10, the city’s statistics office conducted a survey into the difficult situation of businesses. Joining the survey were 1,904 enterprises operating in the fields of ago-aqua-forestry, mining, construction, transport, warehousing, accommodation and dining services.

The survey respondents are fairly representative, including micro-enterprises, small and medium enterprises, as well as big enterprises.

According to the survey report, up to 68.8% of the respondents said they had to access loans at lending rates of more than 17%. Among those, 24.5% borrowed at interest rates of over 20%, mostly micro-enterprises and small businesses.

Around 41.5% of the surveyed enterprises replied bank loans only met 25-50% of their capital demand, while 32.5% said the loans satisfied less than 25% of their demand.

Notably, a majority of State-owned enterprises approached State-run banks for loans (88.9%), while non-State enterprises borrowed mostly from joint stock banks (40.1%) and foreign-invested firms often took out loans at foreign bank branches (26.2%).

Of the surveyed small and medium enterprises, 43.9% said they knew of the preferential loan policy for small and medium-sized businesses, but only 9.4% of them had received cheap loans.

As for the interest rate support policy for export-import firms, only 28.6% of the survey participants said they knew of this policy, and a mere 6.5% of them had been given support loans.

Some 41.1% of those surveyed said they planned to scale down production and business due to shrinking domestic demand, difficult access to bank loans and input problems.

Regarding the factors that affect the business environment, 30.5% of the surveyed said inflation had the greatest impact, while 24.3% chose high lending rates as a major factor. Some 10.6% saw difficult access to bank loans as the toughest factor and 10.5% bemoaned the unstable economic management policy.

Enterprises hoped the State would further focus on stabilizing the macro-economy, lending rates and power prices, improving infrastructure and stimulating local consumption.

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