The State Bank of Vietnam lowered deposit and lending interest rates by one percent each on December 24 in a bid to provide enterprises with easier access to finance.

The new lending interest rate of 12 percent per year applies to short-term loans (of between one to 12 months) in domestic currencies.

The decreased lending rate targets small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) and businesses in agriculture, rural development, export, and support industry. Firms applying advanced technology will also receive the new rate.

The adjustment is also intended to boost purchasing power, enabling companies to expand into new markets.

The ceiling deposit interest rate now stands at 8 percent per year instead of 9 percent as before. This rate is only for deposits of less than 12 months and marks the sixth consecutive reduction from the 14 percent high earlier this year.

However, the State Bank will continue to grant credit institutions and foreign banks the right to decide interest rates for long term deposits and loans.

Rates on Government bonds have also dropped from 10 to 9 percent annually, while interest rates between banks decreased to 10 percent from 11 percent for overnight loans.

About 55,000 enterprises dissolved this year, according to statistics from the Ministry of Planning and Investment's Business Registration Department.-VNA