Standard Chartered Plc, the U.K. bank that makes most of its profit in Asia, raised its stake in Asia Commercial Bank to 15% to tap growth in Vietnam.
The London-based bank bought an additional 6.16% of shares and 7.10% of convertible bonds from International Finance Corp., the company said today in a statement. The purchase almost doubled Standard Chartered’s holding in the Asian lender to 15%, compared with 8.56% it owned in December.
Standard Chartered, which has spent more than US$2.7 billion in acquisitions since 2006, is seeking purchases and investing in its units as UK peers retrench amid higher funding costs and credit-related writedowns tied to the US mortgage market. It gained a license to incorporate its Vietnam unit locally last month, allowing it to open multiple branches and speed expansion in one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies.
The increased stake will allow Standard Chartered “to further strengthen its relationship with ACB, as well as benefit from the growth and development of the economy in Vietnam,” Standard Chartered said. Standard Chartered, which has held a stake in ACB since 2005, said Vietnam is a “key market.”
Standard Chartered rose 2.7% to 1,880 pence in London trading, bringing its market value to 26.5 billion pounds. Asia Commercial Bank declined 1.4% in Hanoi trading, extending its loss in the past six months to 55%.