Vietnam's top bank BIDV gives in, pays cash dividend to government

By Thanh Thanh Lan   October 25, 2016 | 12:09 am PT
The lender wanted to reinvest profits from the year 2015, but the finance ministry demanded cash payouts.

BIDV, Vietnam's largest partly-private bank by assets, has finally agreed to pay cash dividends after the finance ministry, representing the state as a major stakeholder, vetoed a plan for additional shares.

The ministry is now expected to collect VND2.7 trillion, or $121.13 million, in cash dividend payment from the lender, officially known as the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam.

The bank's shareholders late last week set the 2015 dividend rate at 8.5 percent.

The government now owns more than 95 percent of the bank.

In April, BIDV decided to distribute stock dividends at a yield of 8.5 percent, compared to the original plan of nearly 10 percent. The bank wanted to retain profits to raise capital.

Seeking to increase revenue, the finance ministry rejected the plan and insisted that shareholders must be paid in cash.


The government will soon collect $121.13 million in dividend payment from BIDV. Photo by VnExpress

BIDV’s pre-tax profit reached VND5.62 trillion ($252.26 million) in the first nine months, up 6.9 percent from the same period last year and equivalent to 71 percent of the annual target.

Its assets grew to VND956 trillion ($42.889 billion), up 11.5 percent from early this year.

The finance ministry has also asked Vietinbank, another major lender, to pay cash for 2015 dividends, but there has been no response. The government owns nearly 65 percent of the bank.

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