Credit access easier for many Mekong Delta firms

Trung Chanh

It is apparent that the number of enterprises borrowing money from banks in the first six months picked up against 2012, says the survey’s report presented at “Capital solutions for delta firms, removal of bottleneck between banks and enterprises” seminar in Can Tho City on Wednesday.

However, Nguyen Phuong Linh, director of the Member and Training Department of VCCI Can Tho, told the seminar that most banks only disburse short-term loans while minimizing long-term amounts. Furthermore, the lending requirement remains stringent.

“As per the survey, most borrowers are big companies while small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) complain they couldn’t access bank loans due to stringent lending procedures,” Linh said.

Similarly, speakers at the seminar said it is still difficult for SMEs to gain access to bank loans and that lending rates remain high.

Enterprises in An Giang Province still have difficulties borrowing money from banks despite lots of supporting policies issued by the Government including loan payment extension or lending rate reductions, said Tran Thi Dep, chairwoman of the An Giang Business Association.

Several entities want to get long-term loans for investment in production but owing to strict screening procedures at lenders, they have no other choice but to use short-term loans for long-term investment, making them unable to repay the banks on schedule, she stressed.

Explaining why lenders are inclined to tighten long-term loans, Nguyen Hoang Minh, director of Orient Commercial Bank (OCB) for southwestern region, said due to low capital absorption, locals tend to place short-term deposits at his bank, only from three to six months, making it hard to meet demand for long-term loans.

Although lenders have slashed lending rates, credit growth is still very low, at a mere 3.31%, compared to the 12% as earlier projected for 2013.

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