Banks find few takers for foreign currency, gold loans

Total outstanding bank loans were around VND580 trillion (US$32.6 billion) at the end of June, a year-on –year increase of 15.4 percent. Foreign currency loans made up VND139 trillion, 2 percent lower than in the same period last year.

Lending banks give priority to firms that earn revenue in foreign currency.

The general director of Minh Ha Steel Company, Le Minh Thong, said he does not dare borrow in dollars to pay for imports since it would be hard to obtain dollars at the time of repayment.

Instead of taking out dollar loans, companies have opted to buy dollars from exporters by paying a premium of VND300-500, losing tens of billions of dong in the process so far this year.

Cao Van Duc, the general director of VietBank, said while lending banks give priority to firms that earn revenue in foreign currency.

Gold rates

Many commercial banks have hiked their interest rates on gold deposits to up to 5 percent a year.

ACB pays 4.45 percent for three-month deposits of SJC-brand gold. Sacombank pays 4.5 percent for three months and 4.9 percent for one year to customers who deposit 500 ounces and more.

Eximbank said gold prices are falling but gold borrowings are not increasing. The interest rates are up 6-7.5 percent.

Gold borrowings have increased at trading floors, however.

By Mai Thao – Translated by Kim Khanh

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