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Banks moving to list shares on HCM City exchange   2009-08-17 - DTCK

Shares in Eximbank, followed by three other banks, before long will be freely traded on HOSE.  Their move will give the Ho Chi Minh City exchange more liquidity and probably be attractive to foreign investment funds.


This is a good time to list shares because the stock markets have recovered significantly.

Until the beginning of the year, no commercial bank betrayed an intention to list their shares on the bourses except the two privatised banks, Vietcombank and Vietinbank.  


Now, prodded by the State Securities Commission, Vietnam’s banks seem to have changed their collective mind.  Realizing that they must join the stock market sooner or later, banks have concluded that this is a good time to list shares because the stock markets have recovered significantly.


Tran Dac Sinh, General Director of HOSE says Military Bank (MB), Eximbank and Saigon Bank have expressed their clear intention of listing, and are now doing the official paperwork.  However, local financial newspaper Dau tu chung khoan reports that only Eximbank will be able to list on the bourse this year, while the other two will have to wait until the next year.


On July 31, Eximbank consulted shareholders of record about the plan for listing.  If everything goes smoothly, Eximbank will be officially listed on HOSE at the end of September or early October.


That information, aided by the general run-up in stock prices on the Vietnamese exchanges, have helped Eximbank’s shares increase by 20 percent  in prices since July 31. Eximbank’s shares were trading at 26,000 dong on August 10. The shares have also been among the most liquid securities on the OTC market.


According to Rong Viet Securities Company, which is Eximbank’s transfer agent,  one or two million Eximbank shares are changing hands every day.


Meanwhile, Saigon Bank Director General Pham Anh Dung says his bank will make its debut on the HCMC exchange early in 2010. Saigon Bank had hoped to list its shares in September but the need to amend some company regulations and add another member to its board of directors have slowed progress. The bank will only be able to submit the listing plan to a shareholders’ meeting the next year; therefore, its listing plan has been delayed.


A Military Bank source said that the bank has just begun to study the regulations relating to listing and has initiated a dialogue with HOSE, the State Bank of Vietnam and the State Securities Commission. No detailed plan has yet been drawn up. It is highly possible that MB will not be able to list on a bourse before next year.


Yet another bank also plans to list on the bourse earlier the next year, the newly-established Lien Viet Bank.  Lien Viet General Director Nguyen Duc Huong said that the bank is expanding its network and seeking strategic shareholders to strengthen its capability. After that, the bank will proceed with its plan to list on the HOSE.


Huong said that Lien Viet expects to have the required the chartered capital of five trillion dong when it lists on HOSE the next year.


Sinh from HOSE said that the banks that list shares will benefit both themselves and the stock market. The appearance of banks on HOSE will improve the exchange’s liquidity, while the VN Index will more truly reflect Vietnam’s financial market.


Agreeing with Sinh, Nguyen Van Minh of Vietnam Asset Management (VAM) Company commented that bank shares always attract investors, both foreign and domestic. Foreign investment funds, including the ones managed by VAM, find it hard to purchase bank shares on the OTC market. Therefore, “we will be very interested in the listing of bank shares,” he said.

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