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Agribank to begin extended restructuring process

Update: February, 02/2012 - 09:43

HA NOI — Agribank, the largest State-owned commercial bank, will carry out its restructuring plan over the next three to four years, said bank chairman Nguyen Ngoc Bao.

The plan was submitted to the Government before the Tet (lunar new year) holiday and was expected to be approved this month, Bao told the online newspaper VnEconomy.

Under the plan, Agribank would remain a State-owned commercial bank, playing a key social policy role as assigned by the Government and the State Bank of Viet Nam, focusing on agriculture and rural development.

The plan would call for the bank to implement a sustainable restructuring process, addressing its organisation, network system and technology, as well as products and services.

The bank continues to see solid business results. Its capital adequacy ratio (CAR) rose from 6.4 per cent to 8 per cent last year, Bao said, and if the Government allocates additional capital in order to help the bank increase its charter capital by VND30 trillion (US$1.43 billion), its CAR would hit 9 per cent.

The bank's bad debts also declined from 7 per cent in the middle of last year to 6 per cent by the end of the year, he said. In the coming year, the bank intended to reclassify its debts and reserve provisions under new regulations issued by the State Bank of Viet Nam, which would bring the figure down to 5 per cent.

If Agribank achieves a reasonable credit growth of around 10 per cent this year, it would be able to lower its bad debts to 3 per cent during 2015-20, Bao said.

Increased financial transparency would also help Agribank manage its risks and increase its financial capacity, he added.

Agribank would maintain its insurance affiliates, since they helped cover the bank's risks in financing agricultural production and livestock breeders, Bao said. The bank was currently operating nine affiliates in the areas of insurance, securities, gold trading and financial leasing.

The bank's two gold trading companies have been operating effectively, but a pending regulation on gold market management being considered by the central bank might force a rethink of their operations, such as expand operations in jewelry trading. If the Government allows Agribank to attract gold deposits from customers, the two companies would have additional opportunities to develop, as they would be in a position to provide additional services to the bank, he said. — VNS

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