Banks hope to lure foreign investors

June 22, 2018 | 10:00
Despite the current increasing foreign investment inflows, merged and acquired banks will consider selling stakes to foreign investors after completing the restructuring to up the attractiveness of sales, bank officials said.
banks hope to lure foreign investors
SCB will consider selling shares in 2019 after the restructuring is completed. - Photo SCB

After the merger and acquisition (M&A) process, most banks such as Saigon Commercial Bank (SCB), Sacombank, Saigon-Hanoi Bank (SHB), and Maritime Bank said they are now still focusing on promoting restructuring.

CEO of the Saigon Commercial Bank (SCB) Vo Tan Hoang Van said his bank’s financial situation had improved remarkably under the restructuring process as it accelerated bad debt settlement and cleaned its balance sheet.

SCB will consider selling shares in 2019 after the restructuring is completed, Van said, expecting that the move to attract foreign investment next year would bring more advantages to SCB as the bank’s business performance will be much better than currently.

The Saigon-Hanoi Bank (SHB) is taking the same route. Do Quang Hien, SHB chairman, said that many foreign investors are interested in buying SHB’s stakes. However, the bank would make sure the investors it attracts are those who have long-term investment demands and the ability to support the bank in enhancing governance.

SHB’s board of directors wants foreign strategic shareholders to be economic organisations that have long-term investment demand as well as clear management and governance policies to participate in the bank’s governance and provide technological support to ensure the bank’s sustained development, Hien said.

The bank expects to co-operate with financial groups and foreign investment funds to accelerate its retail segment, exploit capital sources and invest in Vietnamese projects and businesses, he said.

This strategy will set the stage for SHB to make a breakthrough in 2018 and the following years, facilitating profit and revenue growth, Hien said.

Banking experts said it is reasonable for some merged or acquired banks to be cautious and wait for good opportunities to find foreign partners and target strategic partners.

The experts explained after the M&A process, it will take banks several years to recover as they need to pay off bad debts. Banks eventually become stronger after finishing the restructuring process, which in turn helps them easier find the most suitable strategic investors.

Economist Tran Du Lich said that restructured banks need to enhance their strength through support from strategic partners. However, they must be cautious in finding investors as foreign inflows to Vietnamese banks are increasing but are mainly in the form of short-term investments, which does not help them enhance governance and improve technologies.


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