The lender’s chief targets to join the club in four years.
Asia Commercial Bank’s assets will probably more than triple by 2015, making it the first non- government lender to overtake one of Vietnam’s four biggest lenders, Chief Executive Ly Xuan Hai said.
Assets of Asia Commercial Bank, the nation’s fifth-biggest bank, are expected to climb to 900 trillion dong ($43 billion) by 2015 from about 255 trillion dong currently, Hai said. Joint- Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam, known as Vietcombank, is the country’s fourth-largest lender with about 344 trillion dong of assets at the end of June.
The growth of non-state-owned banks underscores the transition of Vietnam’s economy over the past quarter-century from government controlled to market based. Since 2000, Vietnam has opened a stock exchange, concluded a trade agreement with the U.S., and joined the World Trade Organization.
“It’s a long journey,” Hai said in an interview in his Ho Chi Minh City office on Sept. 16. “From the time we were one- tenth the size of state-owned banks, now, step by step, we have narrowed the distance.”
Asia Commercial -- in which Standard Chartered Plc (STAN) has a 15 percent stake -- has closed the gap already. Its assets were 68 percent of Vietcombank’s at the end of June, up from 43 percent at the end of 2007.
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