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Banks More Likely to Agree SME Loans    
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Source : Vietnam Banking Finance News

VietFinanceNews.com - Commercial banks now pay more heed to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and look at them strategically as potential borrowers, rather than simply lending loans to State-owned enterprises as before.

According to a State Bank of Viet Nam report, lending to SMEs as a proportion of overall lending by commercial banks has increased significantly. Outstanding loans to SMEs was estimated at VND527.84 trillion (US$27 billion), accounting for 27 per cent of total outstanding loans.

SMEs make up 95 per cent of all registered enterprises nationwide and have created most of the new jobs in the past decade, but they have been beset with problems accessing credit.

But, as part of the Government policy to support SMEs, private commercial banks like Sacombank, An Binh Bank, Asia Commercial Bank, Military Bank, Viet Nam International Bank, VP Bank and Techcombank have made great strides to increase the access of SMEs to credit.

SMEs have become privileged borrowers, paying average interest in the range of 13-17 per cent per year, while other non-manufacturing businesses have paid 18-21 per cent.

These banks also provide special consulting and banking services for SMEs, such as trade finance and international payment, unsecured loans for enterprises with signed contracts with major companies designated by the banks, and help with business plans and executive management structures, as well as exploring and developing market opportunities.

An Binh Bank deputy director Pham Quoc Thanh said that SMEs accounted for a third of the bank's total number of corporate customers and the bank had already set up SME support centres.

"Of course, the journey is not one-way," Thang said. "That ‘investment' promises interactive value in the future."

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