The central bank has approved Vietcombank’s equitisation and submitted the plan to the government, as the last step before the country’s leading foreign bank to equitise. The central bank will work with Vietcombank to ensure that it can sell common shares by late 2005 to become a shareholding concern by 2006, central bank deputy governor Tran Minh Tuan said.
“We’re sorry that Vietcombank couldn’t equitise sooner,” he said at a function held late last week to mark Vietcombank HCM City branch’s growth and contributions to the economy.
The central bank has received US$3 million from an international donor, which it will use to advance the restructuring of Vietcombank, Tuan said.
The bank is expected to launch a two-phase share issue. The first phase will take place this December, according to Le Xuan Nghia, director of the central bank’s strategy development department, which overseas Vietcombank’s equitisation.
The first phase’s preferred share sale is expected to raise some 2.5 trillion dong (US$160 million). The bank will issue common shares in the second phase in 2005.
Vietnam aims to join the World Trade Organisation in 2005. More foreign banks will be allowed to enter the country, central bank deputy governor Tuan said.
“But we pin our hopes on the competitiveness of five State-owned banks, especially Vietcombank, whose business is sounder than that of the other four,” Tuan said.