in the Vietnamese banking system reached 8.16% in the first half of this year, speeding up from an increase of 7.86% in the same period of 2015, the State Bank of Vietnam
(SBV), the country’s central bank, has said.
The figure for the six-month period was revised up from 6.82% the central bank announced at the start of this month.
The credit growth pace aligns with the expansion target of 18%-20% set for this year, the banking regulator said, adding that lending has been funneled into production, business and prioritized sectors while lending for real estate and other risky sectors was under control.
According to SBV statistics, total outstanding loans in the banking system reached 4,911.3 trillion dong ($218.3 billion) as of end-May, up 5.49% from December 2015.
System liquidity has been profuse and interbank interest rates have declined from the end of last year, according to the central bank report.
SBV has bought in a large amount of foreign currency from banks to enrich its reserves. However, it did not provide a specific figure.
Local media cited SBV Governor Le Minh Hung as saying last week that the country’s foreign currency reserves reached an all-time high of $38 billion, rising 26.6% from the end of 2015. SBV has purchased $8 billion this year.
Despite the faster credit expansion, Vietnam’s economic growth slowed down to 5.52% in the first six months of this year, compared to 6.32% from a year earlier, according to official statistics.