Food companies in HCM City are feeling the pressure of the upcoming holiday season, after months of COVID-19 restrictions. Many have requested the State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) put them on the list of businesses eligible for preferential loans, to help them prepare for Christmas and Tet holidays.
Ly Kim Chi, President of the Food Association of HCM City, said that many businesses are close to insolvency. Most of their money reserves were spent to cover costs during social distancing and they are now struggling to maintain operations. As a result, they are in dire need of preferential loans to produce and store goods in preparation for the upcoming holidays.
Food companies also asked SBV to adjust mortgage valuations of well-run companies and offer more working capital loans, so they don't have to put up more assets as collateral.
They urged commercial banks to share the burden with businesses and citizens in this difficult time. Reducing interest rates and loan restructuring is necessary to boost the liquidity of the business sector.
In response to those requests, Nguyen Hoang Minh, Deputy Director of SBV's municipal branch, said all pandemic-hit businesses, households and individuals that fully meet requirements stipulated in Circular 14 are eligible for the loans, regardless of sector.
“Businesses in the food sector are also eligible for many other supportive policies and credit programmes from the Government,” Minh said, adding that SBV and People’s Committee of HCM City currently provide preferential loans to five sectors, including agricultural and rural development, export, small and medium enterprises, supporting industries and high technology enterprises.
Those supportive policies are underway to help businesses in hardship, Minh said, but noted the implementation of those policies needs to strictly comply with legal regulations in order to minimise any unexpected credit risk.
By late August, supportive loans reached over VND1.6 quadrillion (US$70.4 billion).
He said that banks are working with the relevant departments and associations to support businesses. So far, 817 requests sent to HCM City's SVB branch have been settled successfully.
Recently, the branch held a direct meeting with the city’s Food Association to discuss measures to help businesses in this sector overcome hardship. — VNS
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