Government okays Vietcombank stake sale to foreign investors

March 20, 2018 | 11:47
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After the government green-lighted Vietcombank to sell the state-owned stake to foreign investors, the bank is expected to sell a total of 10 per cent, commensurate with over 350 million shares, in a separate issuance and/or through public auction to a limited number of foreign investors.
government okays vietcombank stake sale to foreign investors
Countless foreign investors expressed interest in a slice of Vietcombank

A representative of Vietcombank noted that the share auction would take place in the first half of 2018.

Specifically, the two most prominent foreign investors who would participate in the upcoming share auction were Singapore-based global investment firm GIC Private Ltd. and Mizuho Bank, one of the three so-called Japanese "megabanks" under the management of Mizuho Financial Group.

Currently, the Japan-based retail and corporate bank seized a 15 per cent stake at Vietcombank, and is planning to further expand its ownership at the state-owned bank.

Mizuho Bank was reported to participate in the share auction to maintain its existing15 per cent ownership.

Vietcombank adjusts service charges yet again

Previously, in August 2016, GIC Private Ltd. signed a preliminary agreement with Vietcombank, stating that it would acquire 7.7 per cent of the capital, valued at slightly less than $400 million, at the starting price of VND29,000 ($1.28) per share. However, the government did not approve of the deal with GIC since the market price then was already almost double the proposed rate, at VND57,500 ($2.54) per share.

Over the past eight months, Vietcombank's share price surged to VND72,000 ($3.18) per share, which in turn would heat up the upcoming bidding for the state-owned bank's stakes.

Among the state-owned commercial banks, BIDV was the last commercial bank which had not traded its 30 per cent stake allotted for foreign ownership due to years of delay in the bank's planned share sale.

However, thanks to the striking recovery in the bank's business performance, BIDV's share price skyrocketed by 50 per cent in the last two months, sending off inviting signals to potential foreign investors. To date, numerous banks in the ASEAN and Northwest Asian region expressed interests in strategic partnership with BIDV.

By Ha Tam

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