Bank hits foreign investor limit

Wednesday, Apr 24, 2013 11:51

Customers make transactions at An Binh Bank. The lender has completed its issue of 30 per cent of shares to two foreign partners. — VNS Photo Truong Vi


HA NOI — An Binh Commercial Bank (ABBank) announced yesterday it has used up its quota of shares that can be issued to foreign investors.

In 2010, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Malaysian banking group Maybank agreed to convert ABBank's bonds into shares.

The move made IFC a major shareholder of the bank, with a 10 per cent stake, while Maybank owns 20 per cent. Under the latest legal regulations, the proportion of foreign ownership in a commercial bank can be up to 30 per cent.

Other large shareholders include Viet Nam Electricity (EVN) and Ha Noi Export-Import Co.

The conversion brought ABBank's charter capital from VND4.2 trillion (US$200 million) to nearly VND4.8 trillion ($228.5 million).

IFC will establish a presence on the Vietnamese bank's board of directors. Maybank already has seats on the board, risk management committee and HR department.

IFC has worked with many other banks to provide commercial aid to enterprises. ABBank said the foreign financial firm would improve its management capacity to meet international standards and handle bad debts.

ABBank chairman Vu Van Tien said yesterday that attracting these two foreign investors demonstrated the bank's stable financial status.

The search for foreign partners has not gone so well for other banks. Sacombank and Dong A Bank intended to increase their capital by selling shares to foreign investors last year, but the plans have since stalled. — VNS

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