HCMC expects bank credit to grow 9 pct this year

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Bank credit in Ho Chi Minh City is expected to expand by 9 percent this year as against a national target of 12 percent, according to a report the city People's Committee made at a meeting December 4. 

The growth translates into nearly VND952.6 trillion (US$45.1 billion) in money terms, it said.

Nguyen Hoang Minh, deputy director of the State Bank of Vietnam's city branch, had earlier forecast credit to grow at 10 percent this year.

A growth of 9 percent is however thought to be good enough given it had been just 5.2 percent as of early November.

Nationally, credit has grown at 7.54 percent.

Banks have been struggling to boost lending due to low demand and businesses' reluctance amid poor prospects. Some said even their preferential interest rate of 6 percent failed to interest borrowers, Saigon Times newspaper reported.

Nguyen Dong Tien, the central bank's deputy governor, said December 2 that banks have made efforts to increase lending and he was hopeful it would accelerate this month.

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