Hundreds of millions of bank shares put on sale

VietNamNet Bridge - Commercial banks are sprinting to sell shares of other banks they are holding, so they will not be fined as warned by the State Bank (SBV).


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SBV, in Circular No 36, stated that commercial banks must divest the shares of other banks prior to February 1, 2016 to reduce their ownership ratios in the banks to below five percent of chartered capital. One commercial bank is allowed to hold shares in more than two banks. 

As such, banks only have three banks ahead to withdraw capital from other credit institutions.

A report showed that Vietcombank holds 7.1 percent of Military Bank’s stakes, 8.2 percent of Eximbank, 5 percent of OCB and 4.3 percent of Saigonbank. 

Meanwhile, Eximbank holds 8.76 percent of stakes of Sacombank and Maritime Bank holds 8.9 percent of Military Bank’s stakes.

Under Circular No 36, commercial banks will be allowed to hold more shares than stipulated by legal documents in case the banks have to implement the task of assisting other banks to undergo restructuring and this is approved by the central bank.

As such, if the central bank approves the Vietcombank’s involvement in the restructuring of Eximbank and Saigonbank, Vietcombank will not have to withdraw capital from the two banks.

Meanwhile, Vietcombank will still have to follow the current regulation on reducing its ownership ratios to below 5 percent in other banks – Military Bank and OCB, in which it holds 114.5 million and 17.9 million shares, respectively.

VietinBank’s CEO Le Duc Tho said his bank is moving ahead with the plan to put Saigonbank’s shares into auction so as to cut down VietinBank’s ownership ratio from 10.3 percent currently to below 5 percent.

Maritime Bank has also said the capital withdrawal will be implemented as planned.

A source said that Vietcombank while trying to sell stakes it holds in other banks, is considering issuing shares to foreign investors to increase chartered capital. In the latest move, Vietcombank has signed a consultancy contract with Credit Suisse and Vilaf Hong Duc.

Credit Suisse will act as the financial consultant in the share issuance campaign which aims to help Vietcombank upgrade its financial capability. In 2012, the institution once gave consultancy to Vietcombank when it sold 348 million shares at VND34,000 per share to Japanese Mizuho.

Analysts warned that it will be very difficult to divest shares since there are a lot of sellers at this moment. VNPT on November 20 put 71.5 million Maritime Bank’s shares into auction. Saigontourist offers to sell 10.7 million Saigon Bank’s shares on December 2. EVN could only sell 40 million shares recently and it will have to continue the sale of the remaining 41 million shares in the time to come.

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