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An Binh Bank to seek approval for Maybank to increase stake   2008-11-06 - Thanh Nien News

An Binh Bank to seek approval for Maybank to increase stake
An Binh Bank plans to seek approval from the government and the central bank to allow foreign partner Malayan Banking Bhd. to increase its stake to the maximum 20 percent limit next year.



“We will start applying for government permission after our shareholder meeting, which is scheduled for February,” An Binh's Deputy Chairman Nguyen Hung Manh said at a press conference Wednesday, held to announce the “strategic partnership” between An Binh (ABBank) and Maybank, as the Malaysian bank is commonly known.

ABBank said the strategic partnership would initially help improve its corporate governance and internal controls this year and early 2009.

Maybank will also help ABBank manage a restructure of its management system, monitor market risks and focus on retail banking products, said ABBank, one of Vietnam’s top 20 banks by assets.

Maybank, Malaysia's biggest bank by assets, bought a 15 percent stake in ABBank for VND1.58 trillion (US$96.7 million) in September. Bloomberg has reported that Maybank had originally valued the stake at VND2.1 trillion ($125.1 million) but later reduced it as Vietnam’s economic slowdown cut asset values.

Maybank said it wants to boost its stake beyond the 20 percent limit for foreign banks to tap into Vietnam's growing consumer market. It also plans to seek investment opportunities in the country's insurance and financial industries.

The Hanoi-based lender will issue bonus shares to existing investors at the end of this month to raise its registered capital to about VND2.8 trillion from the current VND2.7 trillion, Hung said.

Maybank will have to spend about VND44 billion ($2.6 million) to buy the additional shares to maintain its 15 percent holding in the Vietnamese lender, according to the two banks' agreement.

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