Vietnam banks to continue making profits next year: experts

By Nguyen Nam   December 23, 2020 | 03:00 am PT
Vietnam banks to continue making profits next year: experts
An employee counts Vietnamese banknotes at a bank in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
A pandemic induced slowdown in credit growth has not hurt commercial banks this year, and this will continue next year, too, experts say.

Several banks have already achieved their pre-tax profit for the whole year by November, with ACB exceeding its target by 14 percent and ABBank by 1 percent.

Some lenders like VIB and Sacombank had already completed their target by October.

In the first nine months, the combined post-tax profit of 26 banks rose 11.5 percent year-on-year, with 16 of them posting growth.

Le Dat Chi, deputy head of the School of Finance, University of Economics, Ho Chi Minh City, said that although the central bank has ordered lenders to lower interests and delay loan dues for borrowers affected by the pandemic, the number of businesses eligible for this policy is small and therefore banks’ revenues and profits have remained mostly unaffected.

He also said businesses that have survived the pandemic have now returned to the regular cycle of borrowing and repaying as the economy recovers.

Economist Nguyen Tri Hieu said as countries are set to relax their monetary policies to support recovery next year, Vietnam can benefit from an expected growth in exports, helping increase credit growth and benefiting banks.

Chi said with the government targeting a 6 percent GDP growth next year it will likely increase public spending on key urban areas, which will also create opportunities for banks to lend more.

A recent report by Ho Chi Minh City-based brokerage VNDirect said as Vietnam’s economy recovered, demand for loans would rise in the last quarter of this year and continue to increase next year.

Credit growth for this year is estimated at 9 percent, and this is likely to rise to 13-14 percent next year, it added.

However, risks remain. Hieu said that the severity of the Covid-19 situation in Western countries and impacts of the U.S. election could weaken the global financial system and Vietnam’s banking industry could be affected, in turn.

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