Vietcombank, Vietnam’s largest lender by market value, will offload a 10 per cent stake to a maximum of ten foreign investors in the first half of this year after it received government approval for the sale, it announced at its recent annual shareholders’ meeting.
The bank is in the process of identifying an asset valuer for the sale.
“The offer for sale has attracted many foreign investors, including Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC. Japan’s Mizuho Bank, the bank’s largest foreign shareholder with a 15 per cent stake, is also entitled to buy more shares to maintain its stakeholding at the bank,” Vietcombank CEO Pham Quang Dung told local media.
He also emphasized that the lender would favour foreign investors with a strong financial track record. Vietcombank is also considering allocating board seats to foreign investors after the stake sale.
The bank plans to sell its stake in Military Bank (MB) and Vietnam Export and Import Bank (Eximbank) by this quarter as part of its effort to pare its ownership in other credit institutions under a directive issued by the State Bank of Vietnam. Under the central bank’s Circular 36, commercial banks are allowed to hold stakes in a maximum of two other credit institutions, with the stake in each not exceeding 5 per cent of total equity.
The Hanoi-based bank now owns more than 126 million shares in MB (equivalent to 6.97 per cent of chartered capital) and over 101 million shares of Eximbank (equivalent to 8.2 per cent of chartered capital).
The bank earned approximately VND172 billion ($7.56 million) by offloading its entire stake in Ho Chi Minh City-based Orient Commercial Bank (OCB) last month.
Vietcombank on January 12 reported a pre-tax profit of more than VND11 trillion ($482.5 million) in 2017, a rise of 32.9 per cent during the same period in the previous year and 16 per cent higher than its target.