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Eximbank raises capital base by 14 percent   2008-08-23 - Reuters

Export Import Commercial Bank, 15 percent owned by Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc., said Friday it has raised its capital base for the second time this year by issuing shares to its foreign investors.



The Ho Chi Minh City-based unlisted bank, Vietnam’s eighth-largest lender, has hiked its registered capital by 14 percent to VND4.25 trillion (US$254.5 million) by issuing 12.9 million new shares to four foreign shareholders.

Eximbank said it has also used VND386.7 billion ($23.1 million) from retained profit last year to fund the second phase of its capital boost.

Apart from Japan’s SMGF, British Virgin Islands-registered VOF Investment Ltd. owns 5 percent of Eximbank, MAE under South Korea’s top mutual fund Mirae Asset group has 4.5 percent and Mirae Asset Maps Opportunity Vietnam Equity Balanced Fund has 0.5 percent.

In August 2007, the Japanese bank bought the 15 percent Eximbank stake for $225 million.

Eximbank issued more than 93.33 million shares in May in the first phase of a plan to boost its registered capital to VND7.26 trillion ($434.7million) by the end of this year.

Its total assets at the end of April rose 15 percent from the end of 2007 to VND38.79 trillion, making it the eighth largest among 41 commercial banks operating in Vietnam.

Foreign ownership in a domestic bank is capped at 30 percent with a 15-percent limit for a strategic investor who could apply to raise the stake to a maximum 20 percent, subject to government approval.

Eximbank is one of 10 Vietnamese banks that have sold shares to foreign banks, among which HSBC Holdings Plc. has the largest stake of 20 percent in Hanoi-based, unlisted Techcombank.

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