Considering negative impacts caused by the Covid-19 epidemic on the economy, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), the country’s central bank, has requested commercial banks to adopt a series of measures to support businesses hurt by the deadly virus.
The move is in response to the government's Resolution No.11 dated February 14 on restructuring debt maturities and lowering interest rates for individuals and businesses affected by the Covid-19.
The SBV expected banks to assess the impacts of the Covid-19 epidemic on their customers, while providing support in form of restructuring debt maturities, lowering interest rates, among others, until further notice from the authorities.
According to the SBV, restructuring debt maturities would be considered upon requests from customers and assessment from the banks regarding borrowers’ financial capabilities and losses caused by the epidemic.
Banks, therefore, are instructed to set up criteria to determine whether customers are eligible to their supporting programs and prevent cases of abusing them.
Commercial banks and credit institutions are requested to report to the SBV results of their support programs on March 15 and March 31.
In a meeting with the SBV in early February, representatives of banks in Vietnam expressed their commitment to support the business community in face of the epidemic, particularly those operating in the fields of tourism, agriculture and trade.
Pham Toan Vuong, vice general director of Agribank, said the lender has hundreds of millions of US dollars available to provide loans with preferential interest rates for enterprises.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment has forecast Vietnam’s GDP growth to slow to a 7-year low of 5.96% in 2020, while the country would be among those hardest hit by the Covid-19 epidemic.