Banks assist firms affected by nCoV outbreak hinh anh 1 Illustrative photo (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNS/VNA) - In response to the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV)’s appeal, a number of credit institutions have announced plans to support businesses affected by the novel coronavirus (nCoV) epidemic.

HDBank has offered low-interest loans and waived fees on international payments for businesses that supply drugs and medical equipment.

It has also cut their transaction fees for domestic payments by 50 percent.

It has cut the fees for issuing letters of guarantee for enterprises that supply pharmaceuticals and medical equipment and materials to hospitals, clinics and health centres at the central and local levels.

It has increased the unsecured loan limit for affected enterprises up to 10 billion VND (430,000 USD)

Kienlongbank has announced a cut in loan interest rate of 3 percentage points for farmers growing dragon fruit, watermelon, durian, jackfruit, mango, rambutan and banana between February 1 and April 30 this year.

It will also waive penalties on overdue loans in the case of affected borrowers.

ABBank has announced a loan support package of 4 trillion VND (172 million USD) at low interest rates for affected businesses.

It has conducted a review of its credit portfolio, especially the accounts of enterprises with trade relations with China, to offer them timely advice.

ABBank also regularly contacts borrowers by phone and email to apprise them about the epidemic status and offer them support.

With the epidemic severely affecting business, production and daily life, the central bank called on credit institutions to ensure they have enough funds to meet the demand for credit and support customers who are affected by the outbreak.

SBV Governor Le Minh Hung also said banks should keep watch on the business situation of customers who could be affected by the epidemic and evaluate the possible impact. 

In a recent communication sent to banks, he called for focus on vulnerable sectors such as tourism, agriculture and exports so that measures could be put in place.

Support measures could include rescheduling debt payments and reducing loan interest rates, he said.

The central bank has instructed credit institutions nation-wide to co-ordinate with local authorities to resolve difficulties faced by affected businesses and borrowers.

Experts have warned many industries would suffer in the short term.

As foreign trade plays an important role in the country’s economy, any interruptions in trade with important partners like China could hit economic growth, they said. 

Exports of farm produce and tourism would be hurt, at least in the short term, they added./.