Credit growth projected at 4.5% in first eight months

HA NOI (VNS)— Viet Nam's credit is expected to grow by 4.5 per cent and its deposits, by 8.21 per cent, by late August, according to the State Bank of Viet Nam.

Nguyen Thi Hong, SBV Deputy Governor, revealed this at a conference held in the capital city yesterday that reviewed eight months of Vietnamese banking sector operations.

Hong explained that credit growth in August was 3.68 per cent higher than that in July but remained lower than that in the same period last year. She said this growth rate was below expectations in light of the Government's target of 12 to 14 per cent growth in credit for 2014.

The SBV Deputy Governor said she expected credit growth to reach 10 per cent by year-end but expressed hopes that it would exceed this figure.

As of August 21, the total means of payment rose by 8.86 per cent while deposit growth rate went up by 8.21 per cent, with deposit in dong rising 8.77 per cent and deposit in foreign currency going up by 4.2 per cent compared with the same period last year. The liquidity of credit institutions remained abundant and the interest rate of the inter-bank market was stabilised at a low level.

Hong said the lending rate of credit institutions was expected to decline by 0.5 to 1.5 per cent in 2014.

Currently, credit institutions have adjusted the interest rate of old loans. As of August 14, outstanding loans in dong with an interest rate of more than 15 per cent accounted for 4.45 per cent of the total number of loans, while outstanding loans with an interest rate of more than 13 per cent accounted for 12.45 per cent.

Bad debt

Hong also revealed that Vietnamese commercial banks' bad debt ratio rose to 4.84 per cent by late June 2014, representing a 3.61 per cent increase from that of the same period last year.

She attributed the increase to sluggish production and business, resulting in a delay in debt payments for a number of businesses, and the implementation of new debt regulations in SBV's Circular No 09/2014/TT-NHNN on the classification of bank risk.

The circular, which deals with the classification of bank assets, the setting up of risk provisions and the manner by which provisions against credit risks are to be deployed, will force an increase in risk provisioning, according to Hong.

It will also allow the banks to continue restructuring existing loans and retain them in the same debt group until April 1, 2015, instead of reclassifying them by using more rigorous standards by June 1, 2014, as previously planned.

At the conference, the Chairman of the Viet Nam Asset Management Company (VAMC) told reporters that since October 2013, his company had purchased VND58.9 trillion (US$2.8 billion) worth of bad debts from 35 credit institutions.

In 2014 alone, VAMC purchased bad debts worth VND19.6 trillion, but this indicated a decline in the number of such purchases.

The VAMC Chairman explained that the purchase of bad debts formed part of a roadmap and plan to restructure the non-performing loans of credit institutions. He added that VAMC had to consider the quality of bad debts before making the purchase.

Explaining why purchased bad debt was lower than total non-performing loans (NPLs) of the banking system, Hong said VAMC was not a "magic wand" to be used in the handling of NPLs

The SBV Deputy Governor explained that VAMC's handling of NPLs aimed to encourage credit institutions to offer more loans and reduce interest rates for lending in order to assist businesses.

Hong said the SBV would continue to boost the process of handling NPLs and would ask credit institutions to enhance risk provisioning and use it in handling bad debts.

Vietnamnews

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