|VPBank has launched customer support policies right from the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in Việt Nam. — Photo courtesy of the bank
HÀ NỘI — VPBank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of World Bank, has signed a credit contract worth US$100 million to support customers, especially small-and-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) facing difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the agreement, IFC will provide the loan to VPBank with a one-year term, which can be extended at maturity, with a Libor + 1.25 per cent interest per annum. This loan would help the bank enhance liquidity to continue providing new loans to corporate customers, while at the same time extending the repayment period of businesses. VPBank has also been encouraged to dedicate about 20 per cent of the loan to fund women-led businesses.
IFC is also working with international financial institutions, including the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to mobilise an additional financing package to further enhance the VPBank’s ability to lend to businesses affected by the pandemic. AIIB will co-finance a loan of up to $100 million to support VPBank to expand trade finance and working capital funding for Vietnamese businesses, including SMEs, to overcome the COVID-19 crisis.
As one of the most active banks in the SME business segment, the number of SME customers at VPBank accounts for about 10 per cent of the country’s total number nationwide. The bank quickly launched customer support policies right from the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in Việt Nam.
The bank has implemented measures to reschedule, restructure and provide preferential interest rates in accordance with the guidelines of the State Bank of Việt Nam to support customers facing temporary difficulties.
In the first half of the year, VPBank also provided thousands of billion of Vietnamese đồng in new loans with preferential interest rates to customers affected by COVID-19. In parallel with the webinar chain “Reacting to COVID-19” for SMEs at the peak of the pandemic, an online training programme called “Small Business Academy” was also organised by the bank to support SMEs shifting their businesses to online channels to maintain revenue during the pandemic.
“SMEs are a strategic customer segment for VPBank,” said Nguyễn Đức Vinh, VPBank’s general director.
“We have constantly introduced new solutions and policies to meet the needs of this segment in the context of the pandemic which is adversely affecting economy. IFC's credit will enable VPBank to support more businesses, help businesses overcome this external shock as well as stabilise Việt Nam's overall financial market.”
Kyle Kelhofer, IFC Country Manager for Việt Nam, Cambodia and Lao PDR, added: “Our experience from shocks in the past, including the 2008 global financial crisis, taught us that SMEs are the ones that will be most affected by the current crisis.
“Therefore, maintaining these enterprises’ liquidity plays an important role in maintaining jobs and limiting economic losses.”
This is the second time IFC granted credit to VPBank this year. In January, IFC and other international co-sponsors granted the bank a medium-term green credit worth $212.5 million. This was the first green syndicated loan transaction in Việt Nam market. — VNS