Credits warming up
By Hong Phuc - The Saigon Times Daily
HCMC – Credits continue to warm up at several banks, sending a good signal that the economy is “breathing” gradually again.
A representative of Military Bank (MB) told the Daily that the bank’s credit growth as of end-May was 8.1%, equal to 42% of its outstanding loan growth plan for this year. Such a credit growth was higher than the average level of the banking sector, which was minus 0.2% then, and far exceeded the growths of many banks in the same period.
The additional outstanding loans mainly belong to the groups of clients prioritized by MB and the central bank, such as agriculture, rural and export, accounting for 20%. The outstanding loans for small and medium enterprises and those active in labor-intensive supporting industries remain unchanged compared to early this year.
“Apart from a focus on credit growth in the priority sectors, we also save credit rooms for distributors of essential goods, mid-term projects aimed at improving equipment capacity of efficient businesses, and individual clients in need of consumption loans with their salaries used to repay debts,” said the representative of MB.
The data of the central bank shows that the total credits of the banking system were negative in the first five months. However, the system’s credits picked up again in May, while in HCMC, outstanding loans increased by 2% in June.
Speaking to the Daily, representative of Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam, shortly known as Vietcombank, said the bank’s credit growth reached 3.6% in the year’s first half. Especially, the total deposits at Vietcombank has risen VND260 billion, up 7.5% against end-2011.
According to a press release of Vietnam Export Import Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Eximbank) on Sunday, two weeks after the launch of a special Vietnam dong lending program, which offers a lending rate of 7% for clients with forex rate insurance, the bank has disbursed some VND2.7 trillion.
Such an amount is given out to 234 clients, including 35 individuals and 199 enterprises. Loans of 1-3 month terms account for 30%, six-month terms make up 65.65%, worth some VND1.74 trillion, and the remainder is terms of four to five months.
In an interview with the Daily last Tuesday, Simon Morris, new general director of Vietnam Technological and Commercial Bank (Techcombank), expressed an optimistic view on the outcome of banking policies.
“In comparison with 12 months ago, we can see that the policies on credit, inflation restraint and forex rate stabilization have brought about effects: interest rates go down, forex rates remain stable… Given the positive market changes, people start to regain their confidence,” he said.
He added: “For example, the number of applications for home loans at Techcombank has picked up. Once there are new house purchase contracts, there are jobs for construction firms and producers. The market shows signs of getting warmer.”
Nevertheless, Morris noted that challenges remain. “Our growth is quite low, so this is still one of the hardest jobs of the central bank,” he said.