IFC puts $505 mln towards trade finance for small businesses in Vietnam

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The World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC) has committed US$505 million in funding that has helped Vietnamese banks increase lending to small local companies engaged in import and export activities.

The record funding is part of IFC's Global Trade Finance Program, which since late 2007 has helped nine local banks improve their capacity to cover the payment risk in granting trade financing to local companies, mostly small and medium enterprises, according to an IFC announcement made Wednesday.

The funds have also helped the businesses create jobs, it said.

An IFC press release quoted Do Diem Hong, Executive Vice President of Techcombank, as saying that the program had helped the bank  "deliver trade finance for local importers and exporters over the past few years when trade lines have been limited."

Lien Viet Bank, Orient Commercial Bank, Tien Phong Bank, and Vietnam International Bank all joined the program this year. IFC's other partner banks in Vietnam are An Binh Bank, Asia Commercial Bank, Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Bank and Vietnam Export Import Commercial Bank.

The release also quoted Simon Andrews, IFC Regional Manager for Vietnam, Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Thailand, as saying that "IFC's partnership has helped banks attract more trade lines from other foreign banks."

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