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Banks prepare subsidised loans   2009-02-10 - VNS

BIDV says it has VND65-68 trillion (US$3.73-3.91 billion) to lend at the subsidised interest rate.

Several commercial banks have announced details for the implementation of the Government’s 4 per cent interest subsidy to help struggling enterprises.

Bank for Investment and Development of Viet Nam (BIDV) says it has VND65-68 trillion (US$3.73-3.91 billion) to lend at the subsidised interest rate.

The subsidy is worth VND2.5-2.8 trillion ($143-160 million) or 15 per cent of the Government’s VND17 trillion, about $977 million, subsidy package and is recoverable quarterly from the State Bank of Viet Nam.

The Ha Noi-based bank intends to complete all contracts with eligible borrowers within the month.

It will review and adjust conditions and clauses of contracts with eligible borrowers who signed contracts before February 1.

All BIDV branches are expected to have finalised subsidised-borrowing applications and sent them to the banks headquarters by yesterday.

The State-owned bank plans to submit the applications to the central bank before next Tuesday.

"I hope the interest subsidy will stimulate the economy and help enterprises improve their competitiveness and reduce product prices," said BIDV Chairman Tran Bac Ha.

Privately-owned Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) announced yesterday that it had VND35 trillion ($2.01 billion) to lend this year with the subsidy for the interest rate worth VND1.4 trillion ($80.46 million).

The HCM City-based bank plans a preferential yearly subsidised rate of 2 per cent for exporters and 5-5.5 per cent for manufacturers.

Other subsidised interest rates will range from a yearly 4-6 per cent.

The ACB has also committed $200 million for food exporters and buyers of paddy and milled rice.

HCM City’s privately-owned House Development Bank has already implemented the 4 per cent interest subsidy.


Need for thorough supervision


Bankers believed that loans are about to increase sharply and both they and economists are aware of the need for thorough supervision of its distribution.

"If banks and enterprises do not do their jobs well, the interest-rate subsidy will become a ‘double-edged sword’," HCM City Economic Research Institute Director Tran Du Lich told Viet Nam News.

"The banks should carefully filter borrowers or their credit will put pressure on the total amount of money in circulation and this could spark inflation," he said.

Viet Nam Small to Medium Sized Enterprises Association Chairman Cao Si Kiem warned: "Easy credit for ineffective projects or business might also lead to a huge amount of non-performing loans."

Lien Viet Bank General Director Nguyen Duc Huong argued that contracts for subsidised-interest-rate loans should carry stricter conditions than usual.

Asia Commercial Bank General Director Ly Xuan Hai agreed.

Hai said his bank would take every measure to supervise the business of borrowers of the loans.
Bank for Investment and Development of Viet Nam has drafted regulations to monitor and punish corrupt practice between lenders and borrowers to prevent any misuse of capital.

But representatives of several enterprises told Viet Nam News that they dared not borrow from the banks if they could not first find customers for their goods and services.

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