Japan’s SMFG acquires 49% stake in Vietnamese NBFC FE Credit

Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG) has agreed to acquire a 49% stake in Vietnam-based FE Credit in a transaction that values the non-bank lender at $2.8 billion, according to an announcement.

The transaction marks the largest overseas investment into the Vietnamese financial sector, according to a government news portal on Wednesday.

FE Credit was established in 2015 as a spinoff from Hanoi-based commercial lender VPBank’s consumer finance division. VPBank said in a statement that the SMFG investment will enable FE Credit to tap the Japanese financial services giant’s industry know-how in financial service operations, as well as to have the capital for pursuing new investment opportunities in the market.

FE Credit claimed it has grabbed more than 50% market share in the local non-bank lending market, with 20,000 points of sales nationwide. The firm provides services including cash loans, loans for goods purchases, credit cards and insurance, among others.

By the end of last year, FE Credit had over 66 trillion dong in its loan book and generated more than 3.7 trillion dong in pre-tax profit.

Prior to FE Credit, SMFG, through Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, purchased a 15% strategic stake in Vietnam’s Eximbank for $225 million in 2007. In 2019, Sumitomo Life spent about $173 million to increase its shares in Bao Viet Insurance by 5.9% to hold more than 22% in the Vietnamese insurer.

Other Japanese banks have also become strategic shareholders of Vietnamese lenders, such as Mizuho Bank (owning 15% of Vietnam’s largest listed bank Vietcombank), The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (19.7% in Vietinbank), and Aozora Bank (15% in Orient Commercial Bank).

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.