CHDB sav­ing pro­gram draws over 3000 cus­tomers

The Myanmar Times - - Business - MYAT NYEIN AYE my­at­nyeinaye@mm­times.com

AROUND 30 cus­tomers par­tic­i­pat­ing in Con­struc­tion and Hous­ing De­vel­op­ment Bank’s (CHDB) Hous­ing Sav­ing Ac­count pro­gram now have the req­ui­site balance to give them pri­or­ity in ap­ply­ing for low-cost hous­ing, the bank’s man­ag­ing di­rec­tor has said.

The state-owned lender started the pro­gram in Au­gust, which aims to re­ward ded­i­cated savers with pri­or­ity when al­lo­cat­ing low-cost hous­ing. Cus­tomers who man­age to ac­crue a balance of K3 mil­lion for a down pay­ment will be first in line when new apart­ments are sold, and are able to ap­ply for a CHDB loan to cover the monthly pay­ments.

Some 3350 savers have opened ac­counts since the pro­gram started, and around 30 have the K3 mil­lion balance that can be used as a down pay­ment, said U Zaw Win, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of CHDB.

The Min­istry of Con­struc­tion, which set up CHDB, is plan­ning to sell more than 1000 low-cost apart­ments, and CHDB is draw­ing up a list of cus­tomers who will be of­fered the units, U Zaw Win said.

CHDB started the Hous­ing Sav­ing Ac­count pro­gram af­ter ear­lier ini­tia­tives were un­suc­cess­ful. The bank at­tempted to lend to low-earn­ers in a joint pi­lot project with the con­struc­tion min­istry aim­ing to help peo­ple buy K10 mil­lion apart­ments in the Shwe Lin Pan low-cost hous­ing project. But it found that many bor­row­ers strug­gled to pay back the loans.

“Some peo­ple had the K3 mil­lion down pay­ment but couldn’t make the monthly K120,000 pay­ments,” he said. “Oth­ers couldn’t make the down pay­ment. Al­though many peo­ple wanted to buy the apart­ments, in re­al­ity they didn’t have the money. So we’ve opened the sav­ing ac­count [to en­cour­age peo­ple to save up].”

CHDB will offer loans at 12 per­cent to peo­ple with a K3 mil­lion de­posit, but who need to bor­row to make the monthly pay­ments. The bank is also still seek­ing low in­ter­est loans from for­eign banks or in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions that it could use to lower the rates on its own lend­ing.

“But that has been dif­fi­cult to get be­cause for­eign lenders are still con­sid­er­ing and ob­serv­ing the con­di­tion of the coun­try,” he said. “Also CHDB bank was only es­tab­lished two years ago.”

New CHDB cus­tomer Ma Hnin Nu said that she likes the pro­gram. In the past savers still had lit­tle chance of buy­ing a house, but now she hopes that one day, when her balance hits K3 mil­lion, she can buy her own apart­ment.

“I save a lit­tle money in each month to buy an apart­ment – it’s bet­ter than not sav­ing any­thing,” she said.

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