Government to shed stakes in wholly-owned Agribank

By Minh Son, Thuy Huong    August 30, 2018 | 08:02 pm PT
Government to shed stakes in wholly-owned Agribank
Agribank's assets were worth about $49.45 billion by the end of last year, the second highest after BIDV.
Agribank’s IPO might be approved in October though it will not be happen until 2020.

Trinh Ngoc Khanh, the bank’s chairman, told a bank debt forum Tuesday that its equitization plan could be approved in early October and the IPO could take 2020 at the earliest.

He said capitalization is an urgent issue since the lender’s charter capital, despite a VND8.3 trillion ($355 million) increase in 2011 from the previous VND30 trillion ($1.28 billion), remains the lowest among state-owned banks.

Khanh said a big chunk of Agribank’s loans are earmarked for priority sectors [as determined by authorities].

As of April 30 the bank’s outstanding loans to the agriculture and rural development sectors had reached VND665.36 trillion ($28.61 billion), up nearly VND20 trillion ($860 million) since the end of last year and accounting for 73.8 percent of its total loans.

According to last year’s audited financial reports, the bank’s assets had been worth VND1,150 trillion ($49.45 billion), the second highest after BIDV.

With the largest network of branches in the country, Agribank has the highest amount of deposits, which at the end of last year had stood at VND1,000 trillion ($43 bilion).

Agribank is one of the four state-owned banks in Vietnam. Vietcombank, BIDV and Vietinbank were all equitized with the state holding majority stakes.

Under a master plan approved by the government in August, the government will reduce its stake in those three banks to at least 65 percent in 2018-2020 and to 51 percent in 2021-2025. 

They will choose strategic shareholders and then prepare to list on foreign stock exchanges.

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

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