Bank credit growth recovers partly in March

Despite being slow, credit growth of the banking system in March recovered compared with the first two months of this year.

 

The State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) reported credit growth in the first quarter of this year reached 1.1 per cent, slowing significantly against the 2.28 per cent rate in the same period last year, due to adverse impacts of the COVID-19 epidemic.

However, the credit growth last month rebounded compared with the first two months of this year, when it was only 0.06 per cent, the lowest level in the past six years.

Nguyen Quoc Hung, director of the SBV’s Credit Department, said compared with the first two months of the year, the economy now has better access to credit.

The credit has begun to recover, Hung said, expecting that a higher growth rate would be seen this week.

Besides State-owned banks, many private banks have recently offered credit packages with preferential interest rates to support firms and individuals that have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The packages will last until the pandemic is over.

According to Hung, the banks’ move shows their liquidity is good and they are ready to provide capital for the economy.

Vietnam Prosperity Commercial Joint Stock Bank (VPBank) has also launched the second special support package with interest rate decline of 2 percentage points, applicable to businesses facing difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Businesses entitled to these incentives must meet some requirements, such as operating in tourism, catering, accommodation, and transportation areas; having export revenue of goods to markets such as China, the US, and the EU accounting for at least 50 per cent of the business revenue in 2019; or facing difficulties in repaying debts.

Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) has recently issued a VND12 trillion preferential interest rate programme for new customers. The interest rate reduction of the loan is 1.5 - 2.5 percentage points per year lower compared to the current interest rates.

Kien Long Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Kienlongbank) has decided to cut lending rates by 3 percentage points per year for existing individual and corporate customers in the agricultural and fishery sectors. The time of the interest rate reduction is from April 1 to the end of June 30 this year, applicable to customers in the Mekong Delta region, especially in Kien Giang, Ben Tre, Ca Mau, Tien Giang and Long An, who are heavily affected by drought and saline intrusion.

However, experts said banks must ensure efficiency and control risks of the loans, suggesting that firms wishing to receive preferential loans must prove their business cash flow, input and output of their products as well as having collateral.

Enterprises in industries that still operate in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic such as electricity and consumer goods would get loans to sustain their production and business, but those such as textiles, transportation and tourism should be considered carefully in the current context, they said.

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