Vietnam's banks raise foreign ownership ratio to improve financial strength

The Vietnam Securities Depository (VSD) adjusted the foreign ownership ratio of MB shares from 22.9908 per cent to 23.0224 per cent on November 9. Photo

HANOI, Nov 16 (Vietnam News/ANN) — Vietnamese banks have been increasing their foreign ownership ratios to attract investment and improve financial strength.

According to Military Bank (MB), the Vietnam Securities Depository (VSD) had adjusted the foreign ownership ratio of MB shares from 22.9908 per cent to 23.0224 per cent on November 9, reported.

The move was made after MB issued nearly 362 million shares to pay dividends in 2019 to increase its charter capital to nearly VNĐ27.98 trillion (US$1.2 billion).

Among its foreign shareholders, Dragon Capital funds Norges Bank and Amersham Industries Ltd are now the largest with ownership rates of 1.68 per cent and 1.44 per cent, respectively, as of June 25.

In addition, MB also plans to divide 25.6 million treasury shares with its existing shareholders from Q4 2020 to the end of Q1 2021.

Earlier, the board of directors of Techcombank approved to raise the bank’s foreign ownership limit from 22.4951 per cent to 22.5076 per cent of its charter capital.

Lienvietpostbank has also increased the ownership ratio of foreign investors from 5.5 per cent to nearly 10 per cent.

Meanwhile, VietCapitalBank will consult the bank’s general meeting of shareholders to authorise the board of directors to decide a new foreign ownership ratio.

Nam A Bank said it planned to sell shares to foreign investors from now to the end of this year to increase charter capital to nearly VNĐ7 trillion through the issue of 57 million shares to pay dividends at a rate of 12.4878 per cent and a private placement of 143 million shares. The bank said it was in the process of negotiating with foreign investors.

In mid-2020, the market also recorded the sale of 15 per cent shares of OCB Bank to Japanese’s Aozora Bank, raising the Vietnamese bank’s charter capital from VNĐ7.89 trillion to VNĐ8.76 trillion.

Việt Nam’s finance and banking is still attracting foreign investors, but experts said the low ownership ratio of 30 per cent capped for foreign investors was a barrier. — VNS

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