While commercial banks are seeking measures to reduce dong deposit and lending rates to support enterprises, the currency market has surprisingly witnessed a wave of US dollar deposit rate increases.
On June 23, Saigon – Hanoi Bank announced an increase on saving interest rates in dollars by another 0.1 – 0.2 percent. After this upward adjustment, the highest dollar interest rate that customers can enjoy from this bank’s savings products is 5 percent per year.
A day after SHB increased its interest rates, LienVietBank issued short-term entry bills in US dollar with the minimum face value of $500 and the highest interest rate of 5.15 percent per year for terms of 364 days.
However, currently, ABBank still offers the highest deposit rate in dollars in the market. Its 48 month dollar interest rates stand at 5.5 percent per year. Besides, its US dollar deposit interest rate for terms of from 6 months to 60 months ranges from 5 to 5.45 percent per year.
Although the interest rates in US dollars are on uptrend, according to banks, it is not easy to raise capital in US dollars from residents in this period. According to experts, as the price of US dollars is rising sharply on the forex market, so many people want to buy US dollars to resell for high profits on the market, rather than sending the savings to banks.
Pham Quyet Thang, general director of GP Bank said: “The increase in US dollar deposit rates in some banks is blamed to a strong growth of their foreign currency credits recently. The increase of US dollar deposit rates is intended to compensate the amount of US dollars that they disbursed”.
Nguyen Quang Huy, head of Foreign Exchange Management under the State Bank of Vietnam said that recently, thanks to a surplus of US dollars, commercial banks have sold $600 million to the central bank for foreign currency reserves. This showed that the forex market is in good liquidity, said Huy.
According to SBV’s report, LienVietBank and ABBank are the two banks that are applying the US dollar deposit rates over 5 percent per year. Currently, only five joint stock banks on the currency market offer the highest deposit rate of 5 percent per year. Meanwhile, a majority of other state-run and joint stock banks are attempting to keep the US dollar deposit rates at lower than 4.9 percent per year.
However, the increasing of US dollar deposit rates at several joint-stock banks in the context of strong US dollar appreciation may raise concerns about the scarcity of US dollars in near future.
A report from the Ministry of Planning and Investment showed that in early June, the foreign currency credit growth was estimated at 27.5 percent compared to December 2009. Meanwhile, the mobilised capital in US dollars only increased 3.09 percent.