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Sacombank won’t buy the IFC parcel on the block: chairman   2008-12-29 - Thanh Nien

Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Joint Stock Bank, the only listed lender on the Ho Chi Minh stock exchange, will not buy any of the shares that are to be sold by International Finance Corporation (IFC), its chairman said.


IFC, a subsidiary of the World Bank Group, will sell 50 percent, or 16,083,664, of its common shares in the HCMC-based bank, which is also known as Sacombank. Some expect the shares will be sold in an off-market deal.

Sacombank, which has shareholder approval for an on-market buyback of 25 million shares, or 5 percent of the shares on issue, before December 31, will not buy any of IFC’s stake, chairman Thanh told Thanh Nien Daily.

“After 17 years of running the bank, we have a fund that has accumulated VND2 trillion (US$119 million). We that will use it to buy back shares,” he said, adding that the buyback was designed to boost the share price, which has plunged 68 percent this year.

Sacombank remained unchanged at VND18,300 on Friday.

Thanh said IFC’s share disposal was part of the original plan. “Under their agreement with Sacombank, IFC would dispose of its stake in Sacombank after completing its support of the bank as a strategic partner,” he said.

“Some domestic companies are interested in the IFC stake and have asked Sacombank to convey their interest to IFC, but IFC has so far refused all offers,” Dau Tu Chung Khoan (Investment and Securities) newspaper quoted Thanh as saying.

Thanh also said the lender has already bought back 11.5 million shares in its current buyback.

IFC this year released a credit facility of VND500 billion ($30 million) to Sacombank to facilitate its housing and trade finance. In 2009, IFC is expected to continue to support the bank’s growth strategy with a new package of advisory services.

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