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Vietcombank delays listing to Q2008   2008-06-21 - Reuters

Vietcombank, Vietnam’s largest partly private lender, will delay its domestic listing to the third quarter after falls in the country’s capital markets, a state-run newspaper reported on Thursday.




Hanoi-based Vietcombank, the country’s first state-run lender to float last December, had initially planned to list shares on the country’s main exchange in Ho Chi Minh City in June, Vietcombank Chairman Nguyen Hoa Binh said.

“Since there are procedures and technical steps to clear, the listing plan is later than expected, but we are determined to complete the listing in the third quarter of 2008,” Binh was quoted by the Planning and Investment Ministry-run Securities Investment magazine as saying.

He gave no dates but said the bank, the Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam, was finalizing steps for the share listing “at the earliest”.

Vietnam’s stock market, the world’s worst performer this year, ended 2.3 percent lower on Thursday, the first day of an expanded trading band, as markets fretted over double-digit inflation and a trade imbalance.

Last December, Vietcombank sold 6.5 percent of its total shares at its initial public offering, raising $652 million.

The government said it would reduce ownership in the bank gradually to eventually hold a 51 percent stake in Vietcombank, which handles a quarter of Vietnam’s total export and import payments.

Vietcombank has said its overdue debt edged up to 1.4 percent of loans in the first quarter of 2008, from less than 1.3 percent in the year-ago period, while its total assets eased 0.3 percent from the end of 2007 to 195.59 trillion dong at the end of March.

Chairman Binh said it was the first time in the bank’s 45 years of operation that its total assets declined.

Vietcombank has projected lending to rise 30 percent this year, in line with the central bank’s credit growth target of 30 percent for the banking industry as it moves to tighten money supply to control double-digit inflation.

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