|A customer at a ViettinBank branch in Ha Noi. After a decline in January, the total outstanding loans of commercial banks in February rose by 0.71 per cent against December last year — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Viet
HA NOI (VNS)— After a decline in the first month of the year, the total outstanding loans of commercial banks in February surged 0.71 per cent against December last year, according to the State Bank of Viet Nam.
However, the bank reported that loans slid 0.28 per cent from late 2012, attributing the decrease to a decline in foreign currency-denominated loans as targeted by the central bank.
The Government's measures to resolve difficulties for business and production through reaming out the credit flow took effect in February, causing the surge, according to the SBV.
Liquidity of credit institutions was good, helping lending interest rates in the inter-bank market inch down against the beginning of the year. They stayed at 2.7-3 per cent for overnight loans, 3-3.5 per cent for one-week loans and 4.5-5 per cent for one-year loans.
Lending interest rates for production and business were also more stable than at the end of 2012. The rate for agricultural and rural areas, exports, small- and medium-sized firms, supporting industry and high-tech application firms stood at 9-12 per cent yearly. The rates for short-term loans given to other industries averaged 11-15 per cent yearly.
SBV said that it would impose credit growth limits on credit institutions so that the entire banking system could meet the credit growth target of 12 per cent this year.
By the end of February, deposits also surged two per cent against the end of 2012.
Deposit interest rates also remained stable at one to two per cent for non-term deposits, 7.8-8 per cent for deposits of less than one year and 10-11 per cent for deposits of more than one year.
Thanks to the improved liquidity, many banks cut deposit interest rates and kept the rate lower than the 8 per cent cap regulated by the central bank. The central bank places an 8 per cent interest rate cap on under 12-month deposits; banks previously would offer the cap to attract depositors.
Yesterday the Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Viet Nam (VCB) was the latest bank to unexpectedly announce it would cut interest rates for some deposits. VCB decided to trim interest rates for one- to three- month deposits to 7.5 per cent per annum from the earlier cap at 8 per cent. The lender also paid 9.5 per cent to depositors of over 12-month terms, down one per cent from earlier.
Asia Commercial Bank () announced earlier that it would offer only 7.7-7.8 per cent per year for deposits of less than 12 months while Sai Gon Commercial Bank (SCB) offered a similar rate of 7.92 per cent for deposits of less than 11 months. — VNS