Banks roll out support packages for nCoV affected businesses

By Le Chi   February 6, 2020 | 08:07 pm PT
Banks roll out support packages for nCoV affected businesses
Traders load dragonfruit, an export affected by the nCoV epidemic, onto a truck headed for China. Photo by VnExpress/Viet Quoc.
Vietnamese banks are foregoing international transaction charges and reducing lending rates, helping businesses hurt by the novel coronavirus epidemic.

VPBank, a private mid-sized lender, announced Thursday it will reduce annual lending rates by 1.5 percentage points for around 1,000 of their clients affected by the nCoV epidemic.

These enterprises mostly belonged to the transport, warehousing, accommodation, tourism, traveling and catering sectors, especially in the northern coastal province of Quang Ninh and major seaside tourist cities like Nha Trang and Da Nang, the bank said.

Earlier this week, private ABBank also said it would allocate VND4 trillion ($172.4 million) towards low-interest loans to support businesses affected by the epidemic. Interest discounts would be assessed on a case-to-case basis, and could reach up to 2 percentage points for short-term loans and 3 percentage points for loans above one year, it said.

HDBank also said it was foregoing 100 percent international transaction charges for businesses supplying pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, 50 percent of domestic bank charges and providing other unspecified discounts for those suppling materials to medical institutions of all types.

A number of other banks including state-owned giants Vietcombank and VietinBank have also announced they are reviewing policies to support businesses affected by the nCoV outbreak.

Vietnam has so far reported 12 cases of nCoV infection, three of whom have been declared healthy and discharged from hospital.

As of Friday the epidemic had killed 638 people, mostly in mainland China, and infected nearly 31,500.

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