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Eximbank boosts capital base by one-third   2008-06-08 - Reuters

Export Import Commercial Bank, 15 percent owned by Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc, said over the weekend it has raised its capital base by one-third after ending its share sales to foreign investors.




Eximbank, Vietnam’s eighth-largest lender by assets, said in a statement its registered capital rose 33.3 percent to VND3.73 trillion (US$231 million) in late May as it ended selling shares to Sumitomo Mitsui, Japan’s third-largest bank.

Last August the Japanese bank bought the 15 percent Eximbank stake for $225 million to become a strategic investor in the Ho Chi Minh City-based lender.

The lender said last week it also sold 5 percent of stake to British Virgin Islands-registered VOF Investment Ltd, 4.5 percent to MAE under South Korea’s top mutual fund Mirae Asset group and 0.5 percent to Mirae Asset Maps Opportunity Vietnam Equity Balanced Fund1.

Eximbank’s total assets at the end of April rose 15 percent from the end of 2007 to VND38.79 trillion ($2.4 billion).

Vietnam caps foreign ownership in a domestic bank at 30 percent with a 15-percent limit for a strategic investor.

In exceptional cases, the government could allow a foreign strategic investor to own a maximum 20 percent in a Vietnamese bank.

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