Vietnam’s largest lender by market value, Vietcombank (VCB), has earned approximately VND172 billion ($7.56 million) by offloading its entire stake in Ho Chi Minh City-based Orient Commercial Bank (OCB).
A Hanoi Stock Exchange announcement said 667 investors, including eight organizations, participated in the auction of 6.67 million OCB shares that saw the highest bid at VND28,500 ($1.26) per share.
VCB in March announced that it will offload the OCB shares at a starting price of VND13,000 ($0.57) apiece.
The bank had last year offered to sell 18.9 million OCB shares at a starting price of $0.57 per share. However, only 13.16 million shares were purchased then with the highest price touching VND14,500 ($0.64). That sale saw Vietcombank’s holding in OCB fall from 4.72 per cent to 3.97 per cent.
The stake sale is a part of its effort to pare its ownership in other credit institutions under a directive issued by the State Bank of Vietnam. Under the central bank’s Circular 36, commercial banks are allowed to hold stakes in a maximum of two other credit institutions, with the stake in each not exceeding 5 per cent of total equity.
Following the divestment of its stake in OCB, Vietcombank also plans to sell its stake in Military Bank (MB) and Vietnam Export and Import Bank (Eximbank) this year. However, no further details have been announced.
Vietcombank now owns more than 126 million shares in MB (equivalent to 6.97 per cent of chartered capital) and over 101 million shares of Eximbank (equivalent to 8.2 per cent of chartered capital). Vietcombank plans to sell a 10 per cent stake to foreign investors by June this year after receiving government approval. Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC was said to be one of the potential buyers.
Vietcombank chairman Nghiem Xuan Thanh had earlier said that Japan’s Mizuho Bank, the bank’s largest foreign shareholder with a 15 per cent stake, is entitled to buy more shares to maintain its stake in the bank.
By Quynh Nguyen, Deal Street Asia