SBV Cuts Regulatory Rates

10:19:13 AM | 3/26/2023

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) recently issued Decision 313/QD-NHNN, lowering the rediscount interest rate by 1% and the overnight rate while keeping the refinancing interest rate unchanged.

Under Decision 313/QD-NHNN dated March 14, 2023, the refinancing rate is kept unchanged at 6% per annum while the rediscount rate is slashed to 3.5% from 4.5% and the overnight lending rates in interbank electronic payments and loans to cover capital shortfalls in clearing payments of the SBV for credit institutions is lowered to 6% from 7%.

On the same day, the State Bank of Vietnam issued Decision 314/QD-NHNN to adjust the maximum short-term lending rate in Vietnamese dong of credit institutions for borrowers to meet capital needs for economic sectors and industries as per Circular 39/2016/TT-NHNN dated December 30, 2016. Accordingly, the maximum short-term lending rate will be reduced from 5.5% to 5%. The rate applied to people's credit funds and microfinance institutions for these capital needs will be slashed from 6.5% to 6.0%.

The move of the State Bank came after the National Assembly, the Government and the Prime Minister issued resolutions on the management of tight, active, flexible and effective monetary policy and banking operations, coordinated harmoniously, reasonably and closely with fiscal policy and other macroeconomic policies in order to curb inflation, stabilize macroeconomic performance and monetary market, and reduce borrowing rates for businesses and people to support economic recovery and growth.

The SBV said the steady monetary market and abundant liquidity of credit institutions have met the payment needs of the economy since the beginning of the year. With a stable foreign currency market and sufficient liquidity, the demand for foreign currencies is fully met.

The SBV has purchased foreign currencies from credit institutions to add forex reserves and brought a large amount of Vietnamese dong into the economy since January 2023. On March 13, 2023, the central exchange rate was set at 23,638 VND/USD, about 0.1% higher than the end of 2022 and the median exchange rate on the interbank market was 23,555 VND/USD, down 0.1%. Vietcombank quoted the ask/bid rate at 23,400/23,740 VND/USD, almost unchanged from the end of 2022.

In February 2023, commercial banks lowered interest rates by 0.2-0.5% for deposits of 6-12 month terms. At present, interest rates are steady. The interest rate on new deposits at commercial banks is 6.7% per annum and the lending rate is quoted at 9.4%. Many commercial lenders have reduced both deposit and lending rates.

The SBV announced the credit growth room in 2023 for each credit institution, aiming to keep the growth of the system at 14-15%, which will be revised to match the actual development; and directed credit institutions to control reasonable credit growth for the whole year and channel credit flows into manufacturing fields, prioritized fields and economic growth drivers as dictated by the Government; ensure safe and effective credit operations; strictly control credit in potentially risky areas; and facilitate businesses and people to access bank loans. As of March 9, 2023, credit institutions reported a deposit growth of 0.45% and credit growth of 1.12%.

According to the State Bank of Vietnam, as of March 9, 2023, credit institutions reported deposit growth of 0.45% and credit growth of 1.12%.

However, the SBV emphasized that it will not make light of heightened inflationary pressures as inflation has increased close to the target of 4.5% from the beginning of 2023. Global inflation is forecast to stay high and major central banks in the world will continue to tighten monetary policies and revise up policy rates to a high level. Attention is being paid to the upcoming Fed meeting, following the bankruptcy of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) in the U.S.

By Bui Lien, Vietnam Business Forum