The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has announced its monetary policy execution for this year.

According to the announcement, the SBV instructed credit institutions to continuously cut the annual interest rate for medium and long-term loans by one to 1.5 percentage points to help businesses.

Under Directive 01/CT-NHNN, SBV Governor Nguyen Van Binh directed credit institutions to implement monetary policies to help businesses, cooperatives and households in getting access to credit in a move to aid the development of production and business.

The governor also directed credit institutions to give credit priority to agriculture and rural development, exports, supporting industries and small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as high-tech application firms.

Under the directive, the central bank also announced that it will execute the monetary policy actively and flexibly, and in accordance with the fiscal policy this year.

The total balance of payments is planned to increase roughly by 16 to 18 percent this year, while the credit growth will fluctuate between 13 to 15 percent. The foreign currency and gold markets will be kept stable with the devaluation of the Vietnamese dong against the US dollar by less than 2 percent.

The SBV instructed its branches nationwide to implement the above policies well, in a move to meet the government's target of controlling inflation at below 5 percent, stabilising the macro-economy and supporting economic growth at 6.2 percent. The results of the implementation have to be reported to the central bank on a monthly and quarterly basis.

On the same day, the central bank issued another directive on improved handling of NPLs of credit institutions and for reduction of non-performing loans (NPLs) of the whole banking industry to below three per cent by the end of the year.

Under Directive 02/CT-NHNN, the governor asked credit institutions to handle at least 60 percent of their NPLs according to their approved plans before June 30, 2015, besides selling 75 percent of the NPLs for the Vietnam Asset Management Company (VAMC).

The central bank directed the VAMC to closely work with credit institutions in handling NPLs, besides creating favourable conditions for domestic and foreign investors to buy NPLs.

The central bank will also streamline the legal framework related to the handling of NPLs, and plan a project on handling of NPLs based on market mechanisms, to be submitted to the Prime Minister for implementation this year. This is a move to help the VAMC in selling NPLs. The bank will also scrutinise the risk provision regulations to help credit institutions that face difficulties in the restructuring process.

Besides enhancing credit quality and strengthening the handling of NPLs, the central bank also directed credit institutions to obey the regulations on debt restructuring and risk provision funding to ensure safety.-VNA