The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has allocated 45 trillion VND (2.13 billion USD) for lending to State-owned enterprises (SOEs) in Ho Chi Minh City by the end of this year.

Nguyen Hoang Minh, deputy director of the central bank's Ho Chi Minh City branch, said since the beginning of this year, the bank has focused on consumer loans and restructuring debts for State businesses.

Speaking at a conference to review business operations of State-owned enterprises in the city over the first 11 months, he said commercial banks have cut interest rates on loans worth 40 trillion VND (1.9 billion USD) for State-run businesses.

He said the central bank branch has pushed three measures: extend due loans; continue to lend to State enterprises with bad debt if they demonstrate effective business operations; and simplify credit conditions.

Minh said the bank has also widened its scope for providing loans.

Many representatives of State-owned companies said at the conference that they still faced many challenges and their profits had dropped significantly.

Le Hoang Quan, chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee, urged the SOEs to take the initiative and plan more effective business operations. He said they should make long-term investment plans while also enhance management and co-operation.

According to the Business Finance division under the municipal Finance Department, total revenues of 93 SOEs in Ho Chi Minh City reached 74.58 trillion VND (3.5 billion USD) in the first 11 months, meeting 76.79 percent of the year's target, a year-on-year decrease of 30.96 percent.

During this period, they earned profits of 6.32 trillion VND (299.7 million USD), meeting 77.67 percent of the annual target, a drop of 8.34 per cent year-on-year.

SOEs contributed 7.24 trillion VND (340.8 million USD) to the city's budget in the first 11 months, meeting 82.3 percent of the annual target, an increase of 6.47 percent over the same period last year, the conference heard.

There are a total of 108 State-owned enterprises in the southern economic hub, of which 15 are either being merged, dissolved or filing for bankruptcy, according to the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Finance.-VNA