Several commercial banks in Vietnam announced they have surpassed their yearly profit goals as of the end of September, despite forecasts made in late 2008 that this would be a difficult year for banks.

VIB bank has announced it reaped 496 billion VND in pre-tax profits as of the end of September, which represents 24 percent more than the 400 billion VND target for year adopted by bank shareholders in March 2009.

Also fulfilling its set profit target ahead of time was the Maritime Bank which said it raked in 700 billion VND in pre-tax profits in the past nine months, already surpassing its goal or 600 billion VND for the whole year by 15 percent.

Some credit organisations have also said they are confident they will be able to exceed their yearly profit targets by the end of this year.

The Vietnam Export Import Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Eximbank) said it is set to reap 1.5 trillion VND in profit for the whole year and has already earned 1.163 trillion VND in the past nine months.

In the past eight months, the Saigon-Thuong Tin Commercial joint stock bank (Sacombank) netted a pre-tax profit of 1.2 trillion VND, while its yearly plan was set at just 1.6 trillion VND.

Cao Thi Thuy Nga, Vice Director General of the Military Bank (MB), attributed the outstanding performance of banks and the confidence of credit organisations to the Government’s economic stimulus packages.

She said the Government’s subsidised loan interest rate package has helped enterprises weather difficulties and restore production, which in turn has enabled them to pay back debts and even step up their use of banking services.

A rebound in the stock and real estate markets has also contributed to pushing up commercial bank profits, Nga said.

However, for Duong Thu Huong, who is General Secretary of the Vietnam Bankers’ Association, banks were cautious in laying out their profit targets for this year amid predictions of difficulties in the monetary market made early this year. Accordingly, they low-balled their profit goals relative to the value of their assets, credit balance and mobilised capital.

In the two remaining months of the year, banks that have not yet met their targets need to make greater efforts to fulfil their set goals as the State Bank of Vietnam continues to apply its caps on credit growth levels and prime interest rates./.