Thursday, 21 Feb 2019
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ECONOMY

Vietcombank seeks gov’t OK to ease foreign ownership cap in 2019

Updated at Thursday, 10 Jan 2019, 18:01
The Hanoitimes - As part of the process, the bank would reduce the state ownership to 65%.
Hanoi-based Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank), the largest lender by market value, plans to seek the government permission to ease cap on foreign ownership this year, the bank's Chairman Nghiem Xuan Thanh has said.
 
Illustrative photo.
Illustrative photo.
As part of the process, the bank would reduce the state ownership to 65%, Thanh said at a conference on January 10.
As of present, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) remains the largest shareholder of Vietcombank with a 77.11% stake. Foreign investors hold a combined 20.79%, with Japan’s Mizuho Bank being the largest foreign shareholder with a 15% stake. 
On December 28, 2018, the SBV approved Vietcombank’s proposal to increase its charter capital to VND39.5 trillion (US$1.7 billion) by issuing shares to Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC and Mizuho Bank.
Under the plan, GIC is expected to hold a 2.55% stake and Mizuho Bank the remaining so that the Japanese bank can maintain its stakeholding of 15% at the Vietnamese lender. 
In 2018, Vietcombank recorded a record high pre-tax profit of VND18.01 trillion (US$781.77 million), up 63.5% against 2017 and the biggest in the local banking sector. 
Thanh added that such high profit is even higher than the combined amount of the second and third largest banks in terms of earnings. The bank is also the largest contributor to the state budget among public companies. 
The lender’s consolidated profit reached VND18.35 trillion (US$796.37 million), 38% above the plan and up 62% against 2017. 
Vietcombank’s total outstanding loans stood at VND635.45 trillion (US$27.57 billion), up 14.9% against 2017 and below the quota set by the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV). 
The bank has also mobilized nearly VND911 trillion (US$39.51 billion) in capital, up 13.7% year-on-year. 
2018 marked the first year since its privatization in 2017 with bad debt ratio below 1% or VND6.18 trillion (US$268.12 million). Additionally, the bank’s return on average asset (ROAA) and return on average equity (ROAE) were reported at 1.37% and 25.42%, respectively. 
In 2019, Vietcombank targeted a 12% increase in asset value, 13% growth in capital mobilization, 15% rise in outstanding loans and 12% increase in pre-tax profit, while keeping the bad debt ratio at below 1%. 
Ngoc Mai
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