The Japanese financial giant Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) announced its exit from Vietnam's privately-held lender Eximbank on March 18.
SMBC and Vietnam Eximbank have terminated the decade-long strategic alliance.
In its recent press release, the Japanese side noted that it would "continue efforts to further enhance its Vietnam growth strategy through its branches in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and collaborations with VPBank SMBC Finance Co., Ltd., a local company in which SMBC Consumer Finance Co., Ltd., a consolidated subsidiary of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group."
Vietnam Eximbank and SMBC entered into the alliance in 2007. In the following year, SMBC acquired a 15 per cent equity stake in Vietnam Eximbank.
"Vietnam Eximbank has been a strategic partner for SMBC, and we engaged in various collaborations. However, material changes in the business environment led to both parties agreeing on the discontinuation of the alliance," SMBC highlighted.
Some key alliance areas terminated include the collaboration in the retail banking business in Vietnam, the support of Japanese clients operating in Vietnam, and collaboration in trade finance and technical assistance to Vietnam Eximbank.
As of March 18, SMBC owned 185,329,207 ordinary shares of Vietnam Eximbank, equivalent to 15.07 per cent of total issued shares, excluding treasury shares. While deliberations are currently underway regarding the future status of the said shares, no final decision has been made as of the time of the announcement.
By Trung Duong