Samson: State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) approves plan for digital transformation by 2025
26th May, 2021
Nguyễn Thị Hồng, deputy governor of the State Bank of Việt Nam (SBV), has just approved a plan for digital transformation of the banking industry by 2025, with a vision to 2030.
The plan is expected to comprehensively renovate the management activities of the SBV in a modern direction, on the basis of effective application and exploitation of achievements of the fourth industrial revolution, fully meeting the Government's criteria and indicators on digital transformation.
According to this plan, 100 per cent of the public services of the Bank will be eligible to be upgraded to level 4 by 2025. One-hundred per cent of level 4 public services are integrated on the national public service portal and 90 per cent of work records at the SBV are processed and stored online.
At least 50 per cent of inspection and supervision activities of the SBV are carried out through the digital environment and the information system of the Bank. For credit institutions, foreign bank branches must have at least 50 per cent of banking operations allowing customers to perform completely online. In particular, the plan also sets a target of at least 50 per cent of adults using electronic payment services and at least 70 per cent of customer transactions made through digital channels.
At the same time, the SBV expects at least 60 per cent of credit institutions to have revenue from digital channels of over 30 per cent. At least 50 per cent of decisions on disbursement and lending of commercial banks, financial companies for small loans and consumer loans of individual customers are made in the direction of digitisation and automation. And at least 70 per cent of work records at credit institutions are processed and stored digitally.
By 2030, the SBV set a goal that at least 70 per cent of its inspection and supervision activities are carried out through the digital environment and the information system of the Bank. At least 70 per cent of banking operations allow customers to perform completely digitally.
To implement this strategy, the SBV has proposed a plan to promote communication activities, modernise the payment infrastructure, and review and propose amendments and supplements to documents to create favourable conditions for banking digital transformation.
On the other hand, the SBV also proposed to have preferential policies, attract high-quality human resources with knowledge and degree in information technology and skills in digital transformation, as well as regularly deploying training programmes to foster knowledge and skills on digital transformation for human resources in the banking industry.
At the same time, the SBV also recommended amendments and supplements for undergraduate and postgraduate education programmes in banking - finance on professional contents associated with digital transformation The decision took effect on May 11. LINK
Vietnam : the only country to have its outlook improved by three credit rating agencies
24th May, 2021
The S&P Global Ratings announced late last week it had retained Việt Nam’s sovereign credit rating and improved its economic outlook to "positive" from "stable".
This made Việt Nam the only country in the world to have its outlook improved this year by three credit rating agencies, Moody’s, S&P and Fitch, according to the Ministry of Finance.
The S&P made the decision on the back of Việt Nam’s impressive economic achievements and reforms of policymaking amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency said after recording one of the highest economic growth rates worldwide in 2020, Việt Nam would continue with solid recovery in the next one to two years thanks to the Government’s effective measures against the pandemic, efforts to attract foreign investment, stable exports, strong domestic demand and solid external position. Việt Nam’s fiscal policies and public debts showed efficiency and flexibility, which contributed significantly to controlling the pandemic, the agency said.
Moody’s Investors Service in mid-March raised its outlook for Việt Nam to "positive" from "negative" and affirmed the country’s long-term credit rating at Ba3. The drivers of the positive outlook included signs of improvements in fiscal strength and potential improvements in economic strength that might strengthen Việt Nam's credit profile over time.
Fitch Ratings in early April revised Việt Nam's outlook to "positive" from "stable" and affirmed the long-term foreign-currency issuer default rating at 'BB', given the country's success in bringing the coronavirus outbreak swiftly under control alongside strong policy support and export demand.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused social instabilities and economic slowdown in many countries in the world. In 2020, credit rating agencies lowered sovereign credit rating 124 times and economic outlook 133 times globally. From the beginning of this year to May 21, 16 countries had their outlooks lowered by Moody’s, S& P and Fitch. The finance ministry said that the Vietnamese Government would continue pursuing the goal of consolidating the macro-economic foundation, maintaining stable growth in production and trade, improving the internal capacity of the economy, boosting institutional reform in combination with fighting the pandemic, contributing to realising the country’s mid and long-term goals and improving national stature.
In the near future, the ministry and the Government agencies will continue enhancing collaboration and information sharing with credit rating agencies and international organisations to fuel socio-economic development and improve Việt Nam’s creditworthiness, the ministry said.
The Asian Development Bank in its Asian Development Outlook 2021 launched in late April forecast the Vietnamese economy would grow at 6.7 per cent this year, despite the return of the virus, and at 7 per cent in 2022.
The World Bank in mid-May however warned about several risks to the Vietnamese economy due to the fourth outbreak of the virus in Việt Nam starting from late April. With new restrictive measures in place, the outbreak would affect domestic economic activities, especially tourism, transportation and retail. The World Bank recommended the Vietnamese Government consider stimulating domestic demand through the application of more adaptive fiscal policies, including a larger-scale support package for people and businesses affected by the pandemic.
Although 2020 was considered a hard year for the global economy due to the impacts of the pandemic, the Vietnamese economy managed to expand at 2.91 per cent while many countries saw considerable recessions. The Vietnamese economy reached a scale of $343 billion last year, making the country the fourth-largest economy in the Southeast Asia region, coming after Indonesia ($1.088 trillion), Thailand ($509 billion) and the Philippines ($367 billion).
The Government set the target for GDP growth at 6.5 per cent this year, higher than the National Assembly’s plan at 6 per cent. LINK
Moody affirms its long-term domestic and foreign currency deposit and issuer ratings of four Vietnamese banks
28th May, 2021
Credit rating agency Moody's on Wednesday affirmed its long-term domestic and foreign currency deposit and issuer ratings of four Vietnamese banks.
The Orient Commercial Joint Stock Bank (OCB), Tiên Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank), and Vietnam International Bank (VIB) have been assigned B1, while the Vietnam JSC Bank for Industry and Trade (VietinBank) at Ba3, because of stable credit profiles that underpinned the affirmation of their respective Baseline Credit Assessments (BCA) and Adjusted BCAs at b1.
The ratings of TPBank and VIB reflect the banks' stable and good asset quality; good profitability; and adequate capitalisation. OCB's ratings reflect the bank's strong capital position; above-average profitability; and elevated asset risks. The report says TPBank, VIB and OCB are reliant on market funding, a result of their small domestic franchises, but the high levels of liquid assets in their balance sheets mitigate this risk.
Moody's expects the asset quality of TPBank and VIB will remain stable in the next 12 to 18 months, as reflected by the declines in their respective non-performing loan (NPL) ratios to 1.2 per cent and 1.7 per cent as of the end of 2020, from 1.3 per cent and 2.0 per cent as of the end of 2019. OCB's asset risks will likely remain elevated over the same period.
A common risk factor for the three banks is their rapid loan growth, which increases their risk of credit losses due to a higher level of unseasoned loans. Moody's expects profitability for the three banks to remain stable, supported by good yields from their retail and SME loans, and growing bancassurance fee income. VietinBank's ratings reflect improvements in the bank's asset quality; its average profitability; weak capitalisation; and good deposit franchise, with Moody's expecting its asset quality to remain stable in the next year and a half.
The report said that it could upgrade the long-term ratings of the four banks if the Vietnamese Government's sovereign rating or the banks' BCAs are upgraded. The banks' BCAs could be upgraded if there are material and sustainable improvements in their solvency metrics.
Moody's could downgrade the long-term ratings of these banks if their credit fundamentals severely deteriorate, including a spike in NPLs leading to higher loan loss provisions that will weigh on the banks' profitability and capital. A significant deterioration in the banks' funding and liquidity could also be negative for the ratings. LINK
Samson: Viet Nam, US to further intensify bilateral relations: top diplomats
28th May, 2021
Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of shared concern during their phone talks on Friday.
Son congratulated Blinken on the US’ recent successes in curbing the COVID-19 pandemic and initially recovering the economy and thanked the US Government for assisting Việt Nam in the fight against coronavirus, especially in accessing vaccines. He highly valued Blinken's significant contributions to bilateral relations, expressing his readiness to co-operate closely with the official to further promote the Việt Nam-US comprehensive partnership. Việt Nam would continue making efforts to achieve stable and harmonious trade ties with the US, and it hoped that the US would soon conclude the investigations related to the Vietnamese currency issue under Section 301, he said.
The minister also spoke highly of the US Government’s investment commitments to the Fulbright University Vietnam (FUV) so as to turn the FUV into a leading centre for training high-quality human resources for not only Việt Nam but also the entire region. Blinken highlighted his country’s support for a strong, independent, and prosperous Việt Nam, noting that the US Department of State would work with relevant agencies to continue bringing the Việt Nam-US relations to a new height.
Speaking highly of Việt Nam’s successes in coping with COVID-19, he said the US would keep assisting countries, including Việt Nam, to access vaccines via the COVAX Facility and partner nations. He also congratulated the Southeast Asian country on successfully taking over the chairmanship of ASEAN in 2020, and pledged continued support for Việt Nam to fulfill its non-permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council for 2020-21.
The US attached importance to and supports ASEAN’s centrality in the region and the Mekong-US partnership, Blinken said, adding that it wanted both sides to continue enhancing co-ordination in the issues of common concern at regional and international mechanisms, thereby helping to consolidate peace, stability, co-operation, and development in the Asia-Pacific region and the world as a whole.
During the talks, the two ministers shared the view that the Việt Nam-US relations were growing well in various areas, based on their respect for each other’s independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, political regimes, and mutual benefits. They agreed to continue strengthening collaboration so as to help further expand and intensify bilateral relations, with a focus on economic - trade - investment links, settlement of war consequences, maritime capacity building, science - technology, education-training, COVID-19 prevention and control, climate change response, and environmental protection. LINK