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Banks lend $17 billion under loan-subsidy program   2009-05-26 - TN, Bloomberg

Commercial banks have lent businesses more than VND301.4 trillion (US$17 billion) as part of a government loan subsidy program aiming to boost the slowing economy.


The State Bank of Vietnam announced the information on its website late on May 22, stating that the figures were as of May 21. The amount grew 3.25 percent compared to a week earlier.

The government decided in January to use VND17 trillion ($956.13 million) from an economic stimulus package to provide a 4-percent interest subsidy on loans to companies that export, import or produce essential goods.

It later extended the program until the end of 2011, and expanded the list of beneficiaries.

The government has launched a package of economic stimulus measures worth about $8 billion. Vietnam is trying to accelerate growth in the economy, which expanded 3.1 percent in the first quarter, the slowest pace since at least 1991.

In another statement released last Friday, the central bank asked local banks to expand credit effectively in support of economic growth, but at the same time it warned the banking system against lowering lending standards.

The central bank urged commercial lenders to “tightly control” loans for property projects and stock investment to ensure the safety of the credit system, it said in the statement. Lending needs to be focused on production, small- and medium-sized companies and major government projects, it said.

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