Banks to offer more shares to foreign investors

Many banks are planning to sell shares to foreign investors with the aim of attracting more diverse capital and enhancing competitiveness.
Banks to offer more shares to foreign investors
Many banks plan to sell shares to foreign investors to attract more diverse capital and enhance competitiveness. (Source: VGP)

The Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank) launched a plan to issue 6.5% of its total shares through private placements in 2019, but has yet to complete the work.

It is set to conduct private placements of about 307.6 million shares for foreign investors in 2023 - 2024, including 46.1 million shares for Mizuho Bank of Japan and the rest 261.4 million for others.

Last year, the shareholders' congress of the Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) decided to reschedule the time for raising its charter capital through share offerings to 2024.

In its 2023 capital raising scheme, BIDV planned to issue an additional 455 million shares via public offerings or private placements. It has yet to detail the scheme but long intended to give private placements to foreign investors.

BIDV Chairman Phan Duc Tu said his bank would pursue this plan, and some potential investors have expressed interest.

Meanwhile, according to Bloomberg, the Ho Chi Minh City Development Joint Stock Commercial Bank (HDBank) is weighing a plan to mobilize 500 million USD by selling shares.

At a recent meeting with investors, Hoang Thanh Tung, Director for the Investor Relations Department at HDBank, noted the bank has made necessary preparations for strategic partners and reserved about 10% of the foreign ownership room for share offerings.

He added that the plan to sell part of its capital to strategic partners is completely implementable when market conditions are favorable and the bank finds suitable partners.

The General Director of Nam A Bank, Tran Ngoc Tam, said the bank is negotiating with foreign strategic partners to seek suitable investors. It will use the 20% permissible level of foreign ownership to attract more foreign funding.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Saigon - Hanoi Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SHB) Do Quang Hien told shareholders that this bank will complete share offerings to foreign investors this year.

At their 2023 annual meeting, SHB shareholders approved continuing to increase the bank’s capital by issuing shares to foreign and strategic foreign investors.

Jens Lottner, CEO of the Vietnam Technological and Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Techcombank), said this financial institution could attract more foreign investors when it seeks long-term strategic partners.

He noted that foreign investors currently hold about 22% of Techcombank shares and can acquire another 8%.

Experts forecast that foreign capital will likely flow strongly into Vietnam's banking market in the coming time.

However, Dominic Scriven, founder and Chairman of Dragon Capital, said the biggest barrier to investing in Vietnamese banks is the limited room for foreign investors. Meanwhile, some banks previously sold part of their shares to foreign buyers, so expanding the percentage of foreign ownership in the domestic banking system is necessary.

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(Source: VNA)