Credit institutions were expecting brighter business prospects in the fourth quarter, the State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) announced on October 8.

SBV came to the conclusion after polling all domestic and foreign lenders in the country. Ninety-one of the 124 organisations responded to the quarterly survey.

"Although business improvement wasn't up to expectations in the third quarter, credit institutions hope there will be more positive changes to foster loan growth and profits during the final months of the year," the central bank said on its website.

The lenders said declining demand for loans remained the biggest obstacle for credit growth targets this year.

Most expected deposit and lending interest rates for dong loans to stay stable or ease by one percentage point by year-end.

They said lending for prioritised sectors (agriculture and rural areas, export, support industries, and small- and medium-sized enterprises) would continue to be in focus.

More than 50 percent said they had increased consumer lending in the third quarter or would accelerate it in the fourth.

About 36 percent said they had focused or would focus on lending to foreign-invested enterprises, while about 40 percent said they had or would cut property loans.

More than 80 percent said they would maintain or increase the number of employees in preparation for new opportunities when positive economic changes arrived.

The State Bank said, although credit institutions didn't expect any breakthrough during the remainder of the year, most still hoped for better performances in view of national efforts to prop up production and business activities and resolve bad loans.-VNA