TRADE FINANCE | Cesar Tordesillas, Vietnam

Mizuho eyeing 20% stake in Vietcombank

Mizuho Financial Group Inc. is in final talks to buy a stake in Vietcombank for as much as ¥60 billion.


The transaction may be completed by next month, the source said.

Foreign banks are investing in Vietnam to tap demand for credit in the Southeast Asian nation even as it struggles to contain inflation nearing 21 percent. Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Singapore's United Overseas Bank Ltd. won approval to raise their stakes in Vietnamese banks earlier this month.

Masako Shiono, a spokeswoman for Mizuho, declined comment.

The Wall Street Journal earlier reported that Mizuho is the preferred bidder to take a 15 percent stake for about $500 million. Mizuho and bigger rivals Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., all based in Tokyo, are expanding in Asia as lending shrinks at home.

Vietcombank, the country's biggest publicly traded lender by market value, said May 17 it is reviving plans to sell as much as a 20 percent stake to overseas investors by early next year.

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