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Vietcombank to sell 10% stake to foreign investors; other banks to follow

Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam, or Vietcombank, plans to sell a 10% stake to foreign investors in the first half, The Nikkei reported Feb. 23.

The Vietnamese lender will be selling more than 350 million shares and has obtained regulatory approval for the sale, said Nghiem Xuan Thanh, the bank's chairman. The bank will issue the shares in a public auction or private placement to a number of foreign investors.

Singapore's sovereign fund GIC was among the interested buyers, Thanh said. Japan's Mizuho Bank Ltd will be allowed to buy additional shares in the bank to maintain its ownership ratio. The Japanese bank holds a 15% stake in Vietcombank.

Vietcombank is not the only Vietnamese lender thinking of seeking foreign investors. Bank for Investment & Development of Vietnam Insurance Joint Stock Corp. has considered selling a 30% stake to foreign investors. LienViet Post Joint Stock Commercial Bank is offering a stake of more than 10% to foreign investors. Vietnam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank, which sold a 23% stake to foreign investors in 2017, might sell more in the future.