Why banks’ profits surged?

By Quynh Trang   April 9, 2021 | 08:26 pm PT
Why banks’ profits surged?
An employee counts Vietnamese banknotes at a bank in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
Most banks reported a surge in profits in the first quarter as credit growth recovered and they temporarily stopped making provisions for bad debts.

Of the 10 or so lenders who have released their earnings figures for the first quarter, most have seen profits rise by over 50 percent with some even doubling or tripling them.

VietinBank’s profit was up 135 percent, compared to negative growth in the same period last year.

The growth was 315 percent for MSB, 126 percent for SeABank, 68 percent for HDBank, and 61 percent for ACB.

One reason for this profit surge has been rising credit growth, which was 2.93 percent for the first quarter compared to 1.3 percent a year earlier, according to the State Bank of Vietnam.

State-owned giant Vietcombank posted credit growth of 3.69 percent, the highest rate in years.

Two other state-owned banks, BIDV and VietinBank, reported credit growth of 2.7 percent and 2.6 percent.

Besides, banks made less provisioning for bad debts, which is normally shown as an expense in their profit and loss account.

Nguyen Ngoc Thanh, a bank analyst at RongViet Securities, said VietinBank and BIDV, for example, were allowed not to make any provisions in the first quarter.

Sacombank bucked the trend with a 40 percent increase year-on-year in provisioning to VND1.4 trillion ($61 million), and as a result its profit remained unchanged from the same period last year at VND1 trillion.

Most banks hope to return to their pre-pandemic profit growth targets this year. Thus, Vietcombank hopes for 9-10 percent growth, Techcombank and HDBank target 25 percent and Sacombank has set its sights on a 20 percent rise.

BIDV, however, has set a target of 44 percent, the highest in five years.

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