The health of credit institutions improved significantly in March, with the value of their assets registering a sharp increase over February to more than 123.4 trillion VND (5.8 billion USD).

The 2.17 percent increase is a marked improvement after a negative growth in February, according to the latest report from the State Bank of Vietnam.

The report says that total assets of State-owned commercial banks surged to over 70 trillion VND (3.18 billion USD), and those of joint stock commercial banks rose to 55.8 trillion VND (2.536 billion USD).

The March figures have pushed up the total asset value of the entire banking system in the first quarter by 0.91 percent over December last year to more than 5,800 trillion VND (263.636 billion USD), the central bank's data shows.

The total assets of State-owned commercial banks, joint venture banks and foreign banks increased by 0.83 percent and 4.45 percent, to more than 2,520 trillion VND (114.545 billion USD) and 736.29 trillion VND (33.467 billion USD), respectively, while those of joint stock commercial banks were more than 2,460 trillion VND (111.818 billion USD), down 0.06 percent, the report added.

Total assets of finance companies and financial leasing companies, and the nation's sole co-operative bank in Q1 also reached 66 trillion VND (3 billion USD) and 18.43 trillion VND (837.72 million USD), up 1.13 percent and 7.26 percent. By the end of the first quarter, the equity capital of the banking system was nearly 470 trillion VND (21.363 billion USD), up 0.64 percent against December last year.

However, the equity capital of State-owned commercial banks and joint stock commercial banks declined.

The central bank also reported that the returns on assets (ROA) ratio of the system last year was 0.5 percent, while returns on equity (ROE) was 5.56 percent, much lower than 0.79 percent and 10.34 percent in 2012 respectively.

The State-owned commercial banks, joint stock commercial banks and the cooperative bank led the system in terms of ROA ranging between 0.65 percent and 0.71 percent while the State-owned commercial banks topped the ROE ranking with 8.1 percent.-VNA