Total outstanding loans of credit institutions in Ho Chi Minh City grew 4.14 percent in this year's first four months, with 80 percent of the lending extended for production and business activities.

The deputy director of the State Bank of Vietnam's local branch, Nguyen Hoang Minh, told a recent meeting with municipal National Assembly delegations that improved economic growth and business confidence had positively impacted banking operations.

He said investments by enterprises tended to increase, which was evident in the greater proportion and higher growth of medium – to long-term loans compared with short-term credit. In four months, medium – to long-term loans expanded 7.66 percent and accounted for 53.5 percent of all loans, while short-term loans rose by 0.36 percent and comprised 46.5 percent of the total loans.

Lending reached some 655 trillion VND (31.19 billion USD) for prioritised sectors, which include agriculture and the development of rural areas, exports, small and medium-sized enterprises, and high-tech firms and support industries.

Through a special city programme that connects banks and businesses, nearly 1,000 firms obtained loans worth some 31.28 trillion VND (1.49 billion USD) with short-term interest rates of less than 7 percent per year.

Minh said medium- to long-term interest rates had fallen by 0.6 to 0.9 percentage points at the end of April, compared with end-2014, supporting enterprises and the economy. The monetary market and exchange rates also showed stable development, he added.-VNA