Joint-stock banks should list on the stock exchange to raise long-term funds and improve management for stronger growth, said the director of the central bank’s banking strategy development department.
“Previously some banks had pushed hard to list but now that regulations have been issued to allow it, in fact, some now seem reluctant,” Le Xuan Nghia said on the sidelines of a seminar on listing of joint-stock banks on October 1.
The seminar, co-organised by UK fund management firm Dragon Capital and the central bank, aimed to call from commercial banks to trade their shares on the stock exchange.
The Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial bank (Sacombank) and the Asia Commercial bank (ACB) had earlier said they had an itch to list. However, neither the chairman nor CEOs of these two biggest joint-stock banks by capitalisation in the country were present at the seminar.
Nghia said, “Joint-stock banks now pay a relative high dividend for shareholders. They are un-willing to offer new shares to the public, even foreign investors, as they don’t want outsiders to share the pie.”
Kieu Huu Dung, director of the central bank’s banks department said more than 10 joint-stock banks in the country met the listing requirements but that he had received no listing applications from them.
The central bank will this month introduce new financial disclosure rules, which will affect all banks, including those unwilling top list, he said.
The Phuong Nam Commercial bank is keen to list shares on the bourse but afraid that it will be put under pressure growth, said general director Nguyen Ngoc Thinh.
Le Hoang Anh, and Dragon Capital, said banks had no choice but to list if they wanted to survive the growing competition.
“We all know that foreign banks, including HSBC, ANZ and Deutsche Bank, want to buy in Eximbank (the Vietnam Export-Import Commercial Bank). So, listing seems inevitable if local banks want to attract more funds and better management for survival,” Anh said.