Deposit rates fixed; lending rates, USD price down

Most commercial banks have officially issued new interest rates on VND deposits and lowered lending rates to 15 percent, while the selling price of USD has declined to around VND19,000.

As of April 16, with the exception of a few banks applying deposit rates of 11.99 percent per year, the highest so far, the majority of banks fixed their rates at 11-11.5 percent.

Previously, most banks applied rates of 10.5 percent. But on top of this, they also added promotional rates to encourage depositors, meaning most account holders earned rates higher than 12 percent. Now, however, banks have put an end to such promotional programs.

As such, the newly announced deposit rates reflect  the exact interest that depositors will earn, said Duong Thu Huong, general secretary of the Vietnam Bankers’ Association.

Meanwhile, following a recent SBV circular on negotiable interest policy, many large commercial banks have agreed to lower lending interest rates to 15 percent per year on average.

Deals at a branch of Eximbank. Many banks lower lending rates to 15 percent on average, while the selling price of USD declines to around VND19,000  (Photo: SGGP)  

The Bank of Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) fixed its maximum rate on short-term loans at 14 percent, while offering 13 percent to small- and medium-sized enterprises and businesses engaged in agricultural production and export. For medium- and long-term loans, the rate is 14.5 percent for borrowers engaged in production and trade.  

An Binh Commercial JS Bank (ABBank) is applying rates of 14-16 percent depending on the type of loan and client; and at Sacombank, the highest rate is set at 15 percent.

Financial experts forecast that lending rates could continue reducing in the future provided that inflation is under control.

Dr. Nguyen Tri Hieu, an independent member of the Management Board of ABBank, said, “The lending rate might be pushed down to less than 10 percent per year if the inflation rate is kept at 5 percent. In such conditions, the deposit rate could be 7 percent.”

In the past few days, the price of USD against VND has continuously declined at banks and on the open market as well. On April 16, one US dollar was selling for around VND19,000 at leading commercial banks, down VND20 from the day before.

On April 17, one US dollar sold for VND18,990-19,010 and was bought for VND18,920-18,950 at several banks.

Notably, at some points in recent days, the selling price of USD on the open market was lower than at commercial banks for the first time in the past three years.

The USD supply on the monetary market is currently quite abundant, the central bank has said, adding that some banks now have a USD reserve of $400-500 million.

The central bank attributed the positive situation to the ease of speculation of the hard currency by companies and individuals, considering it a result of the improved correlation between the foreign exchange market and bank interest rates.

Sources: SGGP, Ha Noi Moi, Dan Tri – Combined by Truc Thinh

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