Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) has sold its 9.6% stake in Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Bank (Sacombank) to Vietnam Export Import Commercial Joint-Stock Bank (Eximbank), breaking up the strategic alliance established in March 2005.
Speaking in a statement on Thursday, Alex Thursby, CEO of ANZ Asia Pacific Europe and America, said: “We established our relationship with Sacombank in 2005. The partnership has created benefits for both parties over the past six years.”
However, ANZ business in Vietnam is now significantly larger following local incorporation in 2008 and the purchase of the Royal Bank of Scotland’s institutional business in Vietnam in 2009. Therefore, ANZ has decided to sell its 9.6% stake in Sacombank, equivalent to 103 million shares, to give greater focus to the growth of ANZ-owned business in Vietnam, said Thursby.
The stake transfer went through the central bank’s regulatory approval on Thursday.
Following the approval of the State Bank of Vietnam, the sale of ANZ’s shareholding in Sacombank is expected to be completed this month. The sales terms are confidential, but ANZ’s acquisition of the 9.93% stake in Sacombank in March 2005 was worth US$27 million.
After receiving the stake from ANZ, Eximbank will hold 9.73% of chartered capital in Sacombank.
In recent months, STB stock of Sacombank is the most actively traded on the bourse, with many rumors about the change of the bank’s ownership structure.
Apart from ANZ, Dragon Capital and Refrigeration Electrical Engineering Corporation (REE) previously announced to divest their respective stakes of 8% and 3.9% in Sacombank, according to VnEconomy.
Hence, Sacombank is now left with only one foreign strategic shareholder, Saigon Phnom Penh Land Holding, with a 4.85% stake.
While other shareholders are withdrawing from Sacombank, Eximbank’s stake acquisition in the bank attracts much attention from investors. Still, Truong Van Phuoc, general director of Eximbank, deemed this movement as normal since the bank now needs to expand investment portfolios, after its financial capability has improved.
As of end-2011, Sacombank had had total equity of VND15.1 trillion, including VND10.7 trillion of chartered capital, total assets of VND144 trillion, and a bad debt ratio of 0.6%. The bank’s pre-tax profit last year is estimated to reach over VND2,720 billion, exceeding the year’s target by 1%.
Sacombank on Wednesday said it had bought back 100 million treasury shares, 9.31% of chartered capital.
The Saigon Times Daily