WHOLESALE BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, Vietnam

Vietnam's Sacombank hunts for foreign investors

Sacombank may sell shares to foreign investors up to 15 percent of it chartered capital.


This was allowed  by Vietnam's State Securities Commission until July 31, opening the door for foreign institutions to step in.

According to the SSC’s stock market development division, Sacombank’s current foreign ownership is around 13-14 per cent. Under existing rules, foreign shareholding in a local bank is capped at 30 per cent.

In early March, Temasek Holdings sold 21.9 million Sacombank shares, equal to a 2.04 per cent stake in the bank, worth VND500 billion or US$24 million. It was the fourth institutional shareholder to quit Sacombank, after Dragon Capital, ANZ and Refrigeration Electrical Engineering Corporation divesting a 8.17, 9.61 and 3.92 per cent stakes since last year.

A senior SSC official told VIR Sacombank planned to sell its treasury shares to foreign investors for a 15 per cent stake. Whether Sacombank will sell the shares, equivalent to a 15 per cent stake, to one foreign strategic investor or to several foreign institutions is unclear.

There are allegations that despite Sacombank’s good health compared with its peers, the institutional shareholders abandoned the bank on concerns over its family-style management and poor corporate governance, especially internal lending.

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