Some 20 commercial banks reduce deposit rates

Saturday, 23/03/2024 19:00
Nearly 20 commercial banks in Vietnam have adjusted deposit rates since the beginning of this month, with most lowering rates, reported Vietnam News Agency.
 At a branch of Vietcombank in Vinh Phuc province. Numerous banks have lowered deposit rates in March. (Photo: VNA)

One of the Big4, the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), earlier this week reduced online deposit rates by 0.2 percentage points for terms of 1-11 months and 24-36 months, and by 0.1 percentage points for 12-18 month term.

The Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Agribank) cut deposit rates by 0.1 percentage points and only maintained a 3% per year rate for 6-9 month terms from March 15.

Agribank has the lowest 1-5 month term rate among the Big4, at 1.6% per year.

Among the Big4, deposit rates at Vietinbank are slightly higher, at 1.6-5% per year.

Earlier this week, Saigonbank suddenly increased rates for long-term deposits, while reducing short-term rates. Accordingly, rates for 1-12 month deposits were cut by 0.1-0.2 percentage points while 18-36 month term rates increased by 0.2-0.4 percentage points to around 5.4-5.8% per year.

From the beginning of March, 17 commercial banks have adjusted their deposit rates so far, four of which cut rates more than twice, including BaoViet Bank, GPBank, BVBank and PGBank. Rates for online deposits are currently around 1.6-6.2% per year.

Sacombank offers the highest rate for 36-month term at 6.2%.

The highest rate for 1–2-month term belongs to CBBank at 3.6%, followed by MSB and NCB at 3.5%, Dong A Bank at 3.3%, and VietBank, Viet A Bank and OceanBank at 3.1%.

For 6-month term, ABBank offers the highest rate at 4.7%.

Only eight banks offer rates higher than 5% for 12-month deposits.

According to statistics of the State Bank of Vietnam, deposits at banks were estimated to total 13.5 quadrillion VND (302 billion USD) as of the end of 2023, the highest figure ever recorded.

A report by broker VNDirect forecast that the central bank might cut operating rates by another 0.5 percentage points in the second quarter of 2024, bringing the refinancing rate to 4% and discount rate to 2.5%.

Accordingly, the average 12-month deposit rate is expected to remain low at around 4.5-5% per year in 2024.

The Government also asked for efforts to lower lending rates to support socio-economic recovery.

Thai Binh seeks Swiss investment at Zurich seminar

 At the seminar. (Photo: VNA)

A working delegation from the northern province of Thai Binh, in collaboration with the Switzerland-Vietnam Business Gateway (SVBG) and the Swiss-Asian Chamber of Commerce (SACC), held a seminar in Zurich city on March 22 to showcase local investment potential and attract Swiss businesses to the locality, reported Vietnam News Agency.

Speaking at the event, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Khac Than said Thai Binh boasts advantages in land bank for industrial development, with 10 industrial zones and 49 industrial clusters covering nearly 3,000ha ready to welcome investors.

Thai Binh always welcomes investors from around the world, especially those from Switzerland, to explore and invest there, he said, hoping that the Vietnamese Embassy in Switzerland and business support organisations such as Swiss Global Enterprise, SwissMEM, Swiss Textiles, SACC and SVBG will facilitate connections between the province and Swiss companies and investors.

Thai Binh commits to all possible support for foreign firms, especially those from Switzerland, to boost cooperation and investment, he added.

In the Q&A session, the Vietnamese delegates discussed Thai Binh's specific areas open to Swiss investment, including finance, banking, insurance, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, food processing, renewable energy and tourism services.

SK Group keen to develop solar and wind power in Vietnam

SK ecoplant company (belonging to SK Group), one of the Republic of Korea (RoK)'s leading investors in the field of energy development, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on March 22 in Seoul on co-operation and development for renewable energy business in the nation with BCG Energy- a member of Bamboo Capital, reported VOV News.

SK Group keen to develop solar and wind power in Vietnam. (Photo: VOV) 

The signing ceremony was attended by officials of the two companies, Kim Jeong-hoon, CEO of SK ecoplant Factory Solution Business Department, and Pham Minh Tuan, CEO of BCG Energy.

Under the terms of the MoU, the two companies will begin jointly developing a 700MW renewable energy project, including a 300MW onshore wind power, a 300MW rooftop solar power, and a 100MW onshore solar power.

BCG Energy is a pillar member company of Bamboo Capital Group and is in charge of the renewable energy segment. BCG Energy has built and put into operation large-scale solar power plants such as BCG Long An 1, BCG Long An 2, BCG Vinh Long, BCG Phu My, and BCG Gia Lai. In addition, the company also develops rooftop solar power systems in many provinces and cities across the country.

BCG Energy's total operational renewable energy capacity as of December, 2023, reached nearly 700MW. The company is also deploying an additional 229MW and plans to develop an additional 670MW ahead in the near future.

SK ecoplant is therefore poised to seek renewable energy projects which boast great potential, including wind power production in Gia Lai, a highland region in Central Vietnam that boasts abundant wind resources.

Jung-hoon said that with diverse experience, as well as specialised solution capabilities in engineering and renewable energy, SK ecoplant will be able to contribute to making full use of Vietnam’s abundant renewable energy resources.

The company will also strive to contribute to the global carbon reduction plan whilst taking the lead in solving climate issues based on the renewable energy value chain.

In August, 2023, SK ecoplant was appointed as the key company in the Concho solar power project in Texas.

Vietnam remains attractive destination for foreign investors

A production line at the Republic of Korea's Bluecom Vina Co., Ltd, in the Trang Due Industrial Park in Hai Phong city. Photo: VNA 

Vietnam's economic strength is reflected in controlled macroeconomic indicators and the country has increasingly affirmed and strengthened its important role in the supply chain diversification strategy of multinational corporations. 2024 will be the year for foreign investors to seize opportunities and implement high-tech foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in Vietnam, reported Vietnam News Agency.

Nguyen Bich Lam, former General Director of the General Statistics Office has granted an interview to Vietnam News Agency on the picture of FDI attraction and solutions to improve capacity and motivation to promote economic growth in the coming time.

The expert said in the first two months of the year, registered FDI reached 4.29 billion USD, up 38.6% compared to the same period in 2023.  The amount of FDI disbursement reached 2.8 billion USD, an increase of 9.8% year on year.

Lam acknowledged that in the context of uncertainties and fierce strategic competition, the fragmented world economy has reduced and reshaped international investment flows, however, the country is still an attractive market for foreign investors, because its economy has recovered and developed in a relatively stable fashion.

Former General Director of the General Statistics Office Nguyen Bich Lam. (Photo: VNA) 

PwC's "World in 2050" study has stated that Vietnam will achieve the second highest annual GDP growth rate worldwide and GDP will grow by an average of 5.3% per year over the 36-year period from 2014-2050. This important macroeconomic indicator is a testament to the success of the Government's management in recovering and maintaining the stable development of the economy.

He said foreign investors praised Vietnam's integration with the world's green development trend with a strong commitment to implement the provisions of COP 26. Along with that, the government has issued policies to encourage foreign investors to invest in projects using advanced technology, clean, environmentally friendly technology, with modern management methods that actively contribute to the production chain and global supply.

Lam cited that Vietnam's economy has deeply and widely integrated into the region and the world. Vietnam has also signed and implemented many free trade agreements with more than 60 partners covering all continents. In terms of market access liberalisation, according to the World Trade Organization (WTO), Vietnam is on par with Singapore, the most developed country in Southeast Asia.

Besides, Vietnam has relaxed regulations on foreign ownership in listed companies, easing the burden on investors. Since 2015, the government has allowed the relaxation of foreign ownership in listed companies by up to 100% in some cases. It also allows unlimited foreign investment in government bonds, he added.

In addition, Vietnam has a particularly favorable geographical position, a gateway for international trade in goods by sea. Increasingly synchronous infrastructure and technology are also advantages that make Vietnam attractive to foreign investors.

With the foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, diversification and multilateralisation, Vietnam is working to be a reliable partner and responsible member of the international community. With a flexible foreign policy, Vietnam is a comprehensive strategic partner or strategic partner of all five permanent members of the UN Security Council. On March 7, 2024, Australia became Vietnam's seventh comprehensive strategic partner. Vietnam's position has been elevated, becoming a regional political-economic-security center. The country is now a partner of the international economic and political communities and a connected economy in a fragmented world - an advantage that only a very few countries have.

The upgrading of the comprehensive strategic partnership with the US and Japan, with a focus on cooperation in trade, investment, science and technology, is an important premise for economic development. Especially, foreign investment in high technology and export represents an opportunity to create a breakthrough in attracting FDI inflows in 2022, he mentioned.

With the increasingly strengthened role of the economy in the supply chain diversification strategy of multinational corporations, Vietnam's economic growth is expected to recover more positively this year. A stable socio-political foundation is a core and important factor in Vietnam's prospect of creating a breakthrough in FDI attraction in 2024 and beyond, he expressed.

Recently, global credit rating agency Fitch Ratings has upgraded Vietnam's sovereign credit rating to BB+ with a stable outlook. With the achievements, advantages and position of the economy, 2024 is expected to be a breakthrough year in FDI attraction of the country./.