Last update 3/4/2012 8:40:00 AM (GMT+7)

Fourth-group banks may turn up trumps in the new games

VietNamNet Bridge – People believe that the commercial banks belonging to the fourth group in the central bank’s classification would have no way out. However, the bankers might be smiling at the comment, because the situation is not as tragic as people think. Especially, they may find new opportunities in the new games.

The “port in a storm”

Fourth-group banks are understood as the worst banks in Vietnam which will not be able to increase their outstanding loans in 2012, while some of them are being put under the strict supervision by the State Bank of Vietnam.

Even if the banks do not inform their classification result, their names will be exposed to the public, sooner or later. It is because the banks which are considered healthier and more powerful, have been trying to show off their high rankings, and persuading people to leave weaker banks to deposit at their banks.

However, the current difficulties have become no more a mental pressure on the fourth-group banks’ owners and big shareholders. The bankers may even feel at ease now after a long period of struggling hard with their liquidity problem in the months before.

When declaring the plan to restructure the banking system, Governor of the State Bank Nguyen Van Binh emphasized that the restructuring must not create any chaos in the market, or “throw stones at mice, but don’t break the vase.”

The words have been understood that the restructuring would be carried out peacefully, and no bank will die. Therefore, bankers believe that even though they are still in serious difficulties, they would be “safe”. The successful and peaceful merging of SCB, Ficom and Tin Nghia Bank in early 2012, once again, gave them more belief.

The bankers still can keep calm, because they know that a lot of big investors now want to pour money into the banking sector, which is considered the most lucrative business field in the national economy.

Analysts comment that there are numerous investors who have hundreds of billions of dong, or trillions of dong in hands. And the investors wish to spend their money on the banking sector.

Meanwhile, it is nearly impossible to set up a new bank at this moment, because the State Bank seems to put aside all the applications for establishing banks at this moment. Therefore, injecting money in existing banks proves to be the most feasible solution for the investors.

There is an easy way that the investors can follow to obtain their goals – buying bank shares on the stock market. The investors can collect shares to hold the proportions of shares big enough to become the members of the board of directors and become the owners of the banks.

This was the strategy followed by the “Doji precious stone family” to acquire Tien Phong Bank.

It is clear that buyers can get benefits from the deals, but the benefits the sellers can get are even bigger.

Analysts have commented that a lot of bankers now can make fat profit even though if they bargain away the shares. In the context of the restructuring wave, those, who are in the storm, may find a port.

The bank share prices have been increasing, which means that if selling the shares, the bankers would get big money. Meanwhile, if their banks are merged into other bigger banks, or some big investors agree to pump more capital into the banks to make them healthier, the benefits the bankers can get would be even bigger.

As such, the bankers will certainly benefit, no matter what happens--their banks would be merged into others, or their banks would get new capital flow from investors.

No bank would get bankrupted. There would be only the banks to be merged into others. It seems that bankers are playing a new attractive game.

Manh Ha