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Vietnam cuts rates to boost lending amid coronavirus carnage

Tuesday, 17/03/2020 GMT+7
Vietnam cuts rates to boost lending amid coronavirus carnage
A bank employee counts Vietnamese banknotes at a bank in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Anh Tu.

Vietnam’s central bank has lowered its policy rates by 0.25-1 percentage point to support businesses hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
The refinance rate has been cut from 6 percent to 5 percent and the discount rate from 4 percent to 3.5 percent, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) said in a statement.

It has lowered the cap for short-term loans by banks from 6 percent to 5.5 percent.

It has also reduced the cap on interest rates on dong deposits of one to six months from 5 percent to 4.75 percent.

Credit growth in the first two months dropped to 0.06 percent, the lowest rate in six years, while GDP growth this year is forecast to hit a seven-year low of 5.96 percent.

The government has directed banks to cut interest rates and waive fees on VND250 trillion ($10.7 billion) worth of loans to stimulate borrowing.

It is also mulling giving affected businesses an extra five months to pay VND30 trillion ($1.3 billion) worth of taxes.

Many major economies have taken similar action. The U.S. has cut interest rates to 0-0.25 percent, and the U.K. to 0.25 percent.

Vietnam has recorded 61 coronavirus cases, including 18 foreigners, of whom 45 are in hospital. The remaining 16 recovered and were discharged.

By VNExpress.net

Written : admin

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