Monday, 22 Oct 2018
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ECONOMYBANKING & FINANCE

Vietcombank steps up divestments to meet cross-holding limit

Updated at Monday, 24 Sep 2018, 18:32
The Hanoitimes - Once completing both auctions, the lender will no longer be a major shareholder in Military Bank (MB) and Vietnam Export Import Commercial Bank (Eximbank).
State-run Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank) is stepping up its effort in offloading shares it holds in two other banks, aiming to meet the banking regulation of cross holding limit.
 
Illustrative photo.
Illustrative photo.
Under the regulation set by the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), commercial banks are permitted to hold shares in a maximum of two other credit institutions, with the stake in each not exceeding 5%. The SBV requires banks to comply with its requirements before June 30 next year. 

At the annual general meeting in 2018, Nghiem Xuan Thanh, Vietcombank's chairman, informed the bank's intention of divesting capital in other banks, of which Vietcombank holds more than 5% stake, including MB with 6.97% stake or 150.6 million shares and Eximbank 8.24% or 101.2 million shares. 

On September 21, Vietcombank announced its decision to offload 45.6 million shares in Eximbank. At the starting price of VND14,497 (US$0.62) apiece, Vietcombank is expected to book proceeds of at least VND661 billion (US$28.35 million).  

The auction is scheduled to be held on October 22 at the Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX).

Vietcombank is currently the second largest shareholder at Eximbank, following Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp which is holding 15%. VinaCapital's VOF Investment Limited is a minority shareholder with a 4.97% interest.

Similarly, the bank will auction its holding of 53.4 million shares in MB on October 15, expecting a return of VND1.04 trillion (US$44.52 million) for the offering price of VND19,641 (US$0.84) per share. 

Once completing the two mentioned deals, Vietcombank would reduce its holding in the two banks in subject below 5% and no longer be major shareholder in both banks.

Vietcombank previously divested its shares in a number of credit institutions, including SaigonBank, Cement Finance Company (CFC) and entire shareholding in Orient Commercial Bank (OCB) on September 6. 

In the first six months of 2018, Vietcombank's pre-tax profit reached VND8 trillion (US$349.4 million), up 53% year-on-year, according to the lender's quarterly consolidated financial statement. 

As of June 30, Vietcombank's total assets were valued at VND977.6 trillion (US$42.7 billion), down 5.6% compared to the beginning of the year, mainly due to the bank's reduction in deposits at the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) and other credit institutions. 
Ngoc Thuy
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