Local lenders are vying hard to attract large corporate customers as these clients have high demand for loans and a good business record, the VnExpress website reported Saturday.
ABBank launched a program in April offering loans at low interest rates for companies in the VNR Top 500 list, the Vietnamese equivalent of the Fortune 500.
"We plan to lend VND500 billion to each company in the top 500 list at preferential rates through the end of this year," said Pham Quoc Thanh, ABBank deputy general director. "These companies use a lot of capital and also do it safely," he said.
Thanh said 76 companies in the top 500 are now clients of ABBank, and they account for more than 15 percent of its cash flow. The plan for the second half of this year is to attract another 100 companies from the list, he said.
Dao Trong Khanh, general director of Tien Phong Bank, said large companies are among major targets of the bank.
Although there are certain risks with these clients as they take out huge loans, their stability and transparency are real pluses, Khanh said.
"But the difficulty in approaching these clients is that lending rates have to be low and deposit rates attractive," he said, noting that banks also need to offer complete payment services for these companies.
Economist Nguyen Van Thuan, head of the financial and banking department at the Ho Chi Minh City Open University, said local banks targeting leading companies was "a positive trend".
Large companies always want to be offered the lowest interest rates and this will lead to competition among banks, helping lower lending rates in the country, Thuan said.
According to VnExpress, lending rates now range from 12 percent to 16 percent a year. Commercial banks last month cut interest rates by around 1 percentage point.