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RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Vietnam

IFC seeks buyer for Vietnamese bank stake

This goes against the trend of greater investments in Vietnamese banks.

Bloomberg reports that the World Bank’s International Finance Corp is said to be seeking a buyer for its 8% stake in Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry & Trade in a move that bucks the growing trend of investments in the country’s embattled lenders.

IFC invested in the bank in 2011 and is reportedly working on the potential sale of its stake in the country’s third largest lender.

Foreign buyers have announced at least $2.2b of investments in Vietnamese banks since the beginning of 2010, according to Bloomberg data, with the biggest investment so far when Japanese mega bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc snapped up a 19.7% stake in VietinBank for $742m.

Vietnamese banks have been long plagued by a slew of legacy problems including weak regulatory frameworks, crony capitalism and state-directed pricing, according to a report by Fitch Solutions, although the country has been working overtime to implement a massive restructuring programme in 2018-2020.

The goal aims to have at least two or three local lenders within Asia’s top 100 largest banks by assets by 2025, have three to five banks listed on foreign stock exchange markets and keep headline nonperforming loan ratio under 3% within seven years.

Here’s more from Bloomberg:

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