Foreign investors eye stake in Vietnamese banks

09:30 | 22/06/2015 Economy

Though Vietnamese banks are undergoing a compulsory restructuring process, foreign investors are showing interest in purchasing stakes in banks.

Foreign investors eye stake in Vietnamese banks

VinaCapital’s managing director Andy Ho said that foreign investors are seriously interested in banks’ bad debts. The bank restructuring and pressure on banks to settle bad debts offer great opportunities for investors to buy Vietnamese banks.

An analyst said it was now the right time for investors to inject money into Vietnamese banks.

Though the national economy has not fully recovered, the shares of banks with good performance have been increasing in price.

Vietcombank’s shares, for example, rose by 25 percent within the last three months of 2014 and the first months of 2015. Meanwhile, VietinBank’s share price has increased by 26 percent.

Investment funds, including VinaCapital, are considering buying more bank shares as the real estate market has warmed up. VOF Investment Ltd, a fund put under the management of VinaCapital, with 5.02 percent of Eximbank’s chartered capital, has become the third largest shareholder of the bank.

According to Andy Ho, VinaCapital will continue pouring money into the Vietnamese finance & banking sector.

Foreign capital continues to flow into the Vietnamese banking system which is undergoing a reshuffling.

SCB accepted foreign capital when it called for capital in early 2015 to raise chartered capital by VND2 trillion to VND14 trillion.

The foreign ownership ratio in the bank is 15 percent. However, according to SCB’s Board of Directors, the figure may be higher in the future as the bank has asked for State Bank approval on selling more than 50 percent of stakes to foreign investors.

CEO of Dong A Bank Tran Phuong Binh said some foreign investors had contacted Dong A to buy Dong A’s stakes, while Dong A is rumoured to merge with another bank.

Binh said foreign investors had praised the transparency of banks’ operation.

After saying goodbye to Mekong Bank, Fullerton Financials Holding (FFH) from Singapore is seeking opportunities in other Vietnamese banks.

A senior executive of HD Bank said the bank with chartered capital of VND8.1 trillion is negotiating with foreign partners to sell its stake with a focus on Japanese investors.

Under current regulations, foreign investors can hold up to 30 percent of shares of domestic credit institutions. Higher foreign ownership ratios need to be approved by the Prime Minister.

However, under the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), the enterprises in AEC will have the right to hold up to a 70 percent stake in Vietnamese banks./.

Source: Vietnamnet