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SBV lowers interest rates

The State Bank of Viet Nam lowered deposit and lending interest rates by one per cent each yesterday in a bid to provide enterprises with easier access to finance.
The new lending interest rate of 12 per cent per year applies to short-term loans (of between one to 12 months) in domestic currencies.
The decreased lending rate targets small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) and businesses in agriculture, rural development, export and support industry. Firms applying advanced technology will also receive the new rate.
The adjustment is also intended to boost purchasing power, enabling companies to expand into new markets.
Cao Sy Kiem, former SBV’s governor and SMEs association’s chairman said SMEs should make use the offer of reduced rates on loans to invest in production and business.
However, some enterprises show their scepticism about the new rates.
“Why does the bank impose ceiling rates for short-term deposits but leave long term rates floating?” asked Pham Hai Dang, director of Construction Technology Company.
“I am afraid that commercial banks will use the loophole to increase long-term deposits and therefore increase long term lending rates,” he explained, “That means it would be pretty difficult for enterprises to access lending at lower interest rates.”
The ceiling deposit interest rate now stands at eight per cent per year instead of nine per cent as before. This rate is only for deposits of less than 12 months and marks the sixth consecutive reduction from the 14 per cent high earlier this year.
However, the State Bank will continue to grant credit institutions and foreign banks the right to decide interest rates for long term deposits and loans.
Rates on Government bonds have also dropped from 10 to nine per cent annually, while interest rates between banks decreased to 10 per cent from 11 per cent for overnight loans.
Meanwhile, a representative of machine importer in Ha Noi said lending rates should be more lower to save both businesses and banks.
Nguyen Thi Mui, director of Vietinbank’s training and human resource development institution, told the Tin Tuc (The News) that it was necessary to impose ceiling interest rates for loans.
About 55,000 enterprises dissolved this year according to statistics from the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Business Registration Department. — VNS