Bank stocks plunge despite rising profits

By Quynh Trang   August 26, 2019 | 12:28 am PT
Bank stocks plunge despite rising profits
An investor looks at the VN-Index benchmark. Photo by VnExpress/Anh Tu.
Banks like VPBank, Techcombank and Military Bank are seeing their share prices plunge despite reporting higher profits.

VPBank was among the most profitable private banks in the second quarter. Its pretax profit climbed 46 percent year-on-year to VND2.56 trillion ($111 million).

But its VPB shares have been dropping in the last 12 months to around VND20,000 (87 cents) as the time of writing, less than half of last year’s peak and down 18 percent from when it was listed in August 2017.

Techcombank, the first private bank in Vietnam to pass the VND10 trillion ($435 million) pretax profit mark last year, has also posted consecutive growth for the last five years.

The lender reported a pretax profit of VND5.66 trillion ($245 million) in the first half of this year, up 9 percent year-on-year. Its tally was second only to state-owned Vietcombank with VND11.3 trillion ($490 million), a 40.9 percent rise.

Its TCB shares have been trading at VND21,000-22,000 (91-96 cents) since August 16, down 37 percent from when it was listed in June last year.

Miliarty Bank, the sixth largest bank in terms of market cap, reported its first-half pretax profit rising 27 percent year-on-year to VND4.87 trillion ($211 million), the fourth largest among all banks.

The price of its MBB shares had fallen by VND22,450 (98 cents) Monday morning, down 25 percent from its peak in May last year.

Phan Dung Khanh, investment consulting director of securities brokerage firm Maybank Kim Eng (MBKE), said that these bank’s stock prices might fall because their reference prices were too high when they were listed.

As the price-earnings (P/E) ratio of bank stocks was high at the time, the drop in prices might reveal the true value of these stocks now, he said.

Profit and stock prices don’t necessarily climb or fall together, as profit represents the health of a bank in the past, while stock prices express the hope of investors for the future, Khanh noted.

The decline of the stock market in general and the negative forecasts about the future of the banking industry could also explain the fall in prices, he added.

Most banks in Vietnam reported no losses in the first half of this year, with some even seeing pretax profits rising by up to 60 percent year-on-year.

Vietnam has nine wholly-owned foreign banks, four state-owned banks and 31 joint-stock banks.

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