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December 22, 2008
Brunei to enforce downpayment for car loans
Car buyers who have enjoyed downpayment-free purchases may be up for stringent enforcement of a rule that requires any borrower in Brunei to shell out a minimum amount before taking that new vehicle out of the showroom, reported a local daily.

The Brunei Times, noting that the finance ministry issued the directive years ago, quoted the Second Minister of Finance as emphasising to financing companies the need to enforce it in line with the call for prudent practices in the banking and finance sector.

"This measure (requiring downpayment for car purchases via financing schemes) is put in place to help finance companies mitigate some of the borrowing risks relating to automobile purchases," he said.

While the directive was issued years ago, it remains common knowledge in Brunei that anyone opting for car financing can actually drive a new car out of a showroom without a downpayment.

Liberal car loans have apparently helped keep the automobile market vibrant. Last year, car dealers sold 14,354 units, up from 12,523 the previous year, the paper said, quoting data from the Brunei Automobile Transport Association.

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