According to industry insiders, domestic exporters have preferred dollar loans, since the interest rate is currently some 50 per cent lower than that of the dong.
Today, the average rates for dong loans are commonly 6 to 7 per cent per year for short-term loans to priority fields, including exports. The rates of 9 to 10 per cent per year are set for medium and long-term loans for priority fields.
Meanwhile, many banks are offering short-term dollar loans with interest rates of roughly 3 per cent for priority fields, including exports. The dollar lending rates are roughly 5.5-6.7 per cent per year for medium and long terms.
Banking expert Nguyen Tri Hieu said that interest rates for dollar loans had been reduced at most banks and rates currently remained reasonable for exporters.
Director of Duc Hoang Co Phan Duc Chien said that firms were taking advantage of low interest rates to borrow dollars for buying import materials and equipment for production.
Thanks to the loans, firms would not miss export contracts in the final months of the year, Chien said. Banks are also offering many dollar lending packages to attract exporters.
HDBank, for example, has just introduced a dollar lending package worth US$10 million, with interest rates of 3 to 3.25 per cent per year. Vietinbank and Sacombank are also introducing many credit packages with preferential interest rates to ease exporters' access to dollar loans.
Pham Quoc Thanh, deputy general director of HDBank, said most banks had reduced dollar lending interest rates to attract borrowers.
Besides, Thanh said, the stability of the exchange rate also helped firms secure dollar lending loans, as the central bank said that this year it would devalue the dong by no more than 2 per cent.
Pham Linh, deputy general director of VietABank, also said that sometimes firms preferred loans issued in dong due to concerns of instability in exchange rates.
Currently, besides the exchange rate stability, dollar loans at interest rates of roughly 3 per cent were attracting borrowers, Linh said.