The International Finance Corp., the private investment arm of the World Bank Group, is seeking a buyer for its entire stake in state-controlled Vietnam JS Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade, known as VietinBank, after seven years since its investment in the bank, Bloomberg reported, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.
A VietinBank transaction office in Dong Da district, Hanoi. Photo: diachiso.vn
IFC is working with an adviser on the potential sale of its 8% stake, valued at nearly US$350 million, according to the sources.
The stock of VietinBank ended up 2.4% at VND27,450 ($1.16) per share on September 20, giving it a market value of about VND102.2 trillion ($4.35 billion), the third-largest lender in the country by market value, according to exchange data. Its shares have risen 11% this year through September 20.
The State Bank of Vietnam owns a 64.5% stake in VietinBank. Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. (MUFG) is the second-biggest shareholder with a 19.7% stake. MUFG acquired a 19.7% stake in VietinBank for $742 million, the largest investment by a foreign investor in a Vietnamese bank so far, according to Bloomberg data.
Foreign investors now hold a combined 30% stake in VietinBank, the maximum allowed by law. IFC’s exit could be an opportunity for other buyers.
Hanoi-based Bank for Development and Investment of Vietnam (BIDV), another state-owned lender, has been seeking for foreign strategic investors for years. South Korea’s Hana Financial Group is reportedly planning to expand its foothold in Vietnam through an investment in BIDV.