Standard Chartered exits Vietnam’s Asia Commercial Bank

Standard Chartered has sold its entire stake in Vietnam’s Asia Commercial Bank (ACB), bringing a 12-year partnership to an end.

According to an announcement by the Vietnam Depository Securities Centre, StanChart subsidiaries Standard Chartered APR Ltd and Standard Chartered (Hong Kong) Ltd transferred their combined 154.1 million shares in the Vietnamese bank.

Standard Chartered APR transferred shares equivalent to an 8.75 per cent stake in ACB to Estes Investment Ltd and Sather Gate Investment Ltd. Meanwhile, Standard Chartered (Hong Kong) Ltd sold its 6.25 per cent stake to three investment companies, namely Boardwalk South Ltd, Whistler Investment Ltd and Estes Investment Ltd.

Previously, Standard Chartered had withdrawn its representatives from ACB’s board of directors.

ACB’s shares were trading at around VND40,000 ($1.75) a share on the Hanoi Stock Exchange, valuing the sale at about VND6 trillion ($263.2 million).

In 2005, Standard Chartered had spent $22 million to acquire an 8.56 per cent stake in ACB at VND62,000 ($2.75) per share. In 2008, it increased its holding in the Vietnamese bank by acquiring IFC’s entire 6.16 per cent stake in ACB and buying an additional 7.1 per cent of its convertible bonds.

Standard Chartered is the latest foreign bank to sell its holding in Vietnamese lenders. Recently, Paris-based bank BNP Paribas offloaded its entire 18.68 per cent stake in Orient Commercial Bank (OCB), ending a 10-year alliance between the two banks.

In April 2017, ANZ announced it was selling its Vietnam retail banking operations to South Korea’s Shinhan Bank. The sale included all eight branches located in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Last year also saw the Commonwealth Bank of Australia sell its Ho Chi Minh City branch to VIB. Meanwhile, HSBC has been reported to be planning to exit Techcombank.

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