SBS set for overhaul

December 01, 2011 | 16:00
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Local brokerage Sacombank Securities looks for a major shake-up after a decision by founder company Sacombank to ditch most of its holding in the securities firm.

In mid November Sacombank (STB) announced it had slashed its 38 per cent stake in affiliate Sacombank Securities (SBS) to just 10.95 per cent, or 13.87 million shares.

This was the second STB sale of SBS shares. In June, the bank sold 9.42 million shares, or 7.44 per cent of its stake in the brokerage.

The sales caught the market by surprise as STB was a SBS founding shareholder and STB and SBS are working under the “mother and son” company model.

Adding to the intrigue is the fact that two SBS staff members – Nguyen Nhu Khanh and Pham Thi Nhat Thanh, who are very young at 27 and 26 years old – bought 25 million shares [a 19.74 per cent stake] and 23.13 million shares [a 18.3 per cent stake] of SBS, thus becoming major shareholders.

“After this move, I think the name Sacombank Securities will no longer exist and there might be more [major] changes,” said an analyst with StoxPlus, adding that the SBS management structure would be changed when new investors successfully won position in management board.

SBS spokesperson Ho Truc Lam declined to comment on whether the broking house would be given a new moniker but said her company was a public company which they had to announce any changes to the market regulator and investors.  

“The SBS management board has not yet decided,” Lam told VIR.

On December 1, SBS shares closed at VND4,200, 62 per cent lower than their price on debut of VND15,000 in 2010.

In a related development, SBS also announced it would replace its chief accountant, a key person in a company, a move market observers believe is a first step in larger changes to come.

The market rumour mill has been working overtime with suggestions that SBS was on the ropes business-wise and a number of SBS directors had been involved in several illegal business activities. SBS is rumoured to have around VND7,000 billion ($338 million) in bad debts relating to the company’s margin trading activities.

Nguyen Ho Nam, SBS chairman, is also rumoured to be about to leave his post while a group of SBS employees have accused SBS directors of manipulating stock prices and financial fraud.

Earlier, Le Minh Truyen, a SBS staffer, was arrested after for alleged illegal support of Le Van Dung, former chairman of Vien Dong Pharmaceutical Company (DVD) in manipulation of share prices.

By Trung Hung

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