Vietnam's central bank aims to bring loan rates down this year

By Anh Vu, Thanh Nien News

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 A Vietcombank branch in Hanoi. Photo: Anh Vu

The State Bank of Vietnam announced Friday that it aims to bring rates on mid to long term loans down by 1-1.5 percentage points this year, a plan deemed necessary to support economic recovery. 
Local banks are now offering dong loans with interest rates ranging from 9 to 11 percent a year, according to the bank. 
The rates are 5.5-7 percent for dollar loans.
Short-term loans carry interest rates between 7 and 9 percent for VND, and 3-6 percent for USD.
Questions remain over what specific measures the central bank will take to lower rates at commercial banks. 
Deputy Governor Nguyen Thi Hong said that the central bank plans to keep credit growth within a range of 13 to 16 percent this year.
Last year loan rates fell by 1-1.5 percentage points compared to 2013.
Hong said the state bank will also focus on cleaning up the banking system this year, bringing the ratio of non-performing debt to below 3 percent. 
In a report submitted to the National Assembly in September, the central bank said that as of the end of July, troubled loans accounted for 4.11 percent of total debt, compared to 3.61 percent one year earlier. 

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