HA NOI (VNS)— The merger of Sacombank and Eximbank is a serious possibility and not merely a rumour, with Eximbank chairman Le Hung Dung this week admitting that the two banks have been in negotiations.
|Sacombank staff serve customers. Sacombank and Eximbank are negotiating a merger. – VNA/VNS Photo Tran Viet
The merger talk was initiated when Eximbank acquired a 9.73-per-cent stake in Sacombank from the ANZ Banking Group. Virtually no information was disclosed about the deal, prompting rumours of a merger being in the pipeline.
Dung told Thoi bao Doanh nhan (Entrepreneur Times) that the merger would be a good idea if it met necessary conditions.
The merged bank would become a major player in the nation's banking industry, with over 600 branches, charter capital of VND30 trillion (US$1.4 billion) and asset totalling VND400-500 trillion ($19-24 billion).
Sacombank has charter capital of VND10.7 trillion ($500 million), while Eximbank's totals nearly VND12.4 billion ($590 million). If the two banks were merged, the new entity's capital and assets would put it in a rarified league currently dominated by predominately State-owned banks like Vietcombank, Agribank, Vietinbank and the Bank for Investment and Development of Viet Nam (BIDV).
The merger would contribute to national economic development and the restructuring of the banking sector by reducing the number of banks and increasing the overall health of the financial system, Dung said. However, any deal would require the approval of the State Bank of Viet Nam and other relevant authorities as well as the shareholders of both banks.
Sacombank chairman Pham Huu Phu said the idea for the merger predated Viet Nam's accession to the WTO in 2007. The merger would help create a large-scale bank capable of competing on the market with foreign banks, Phu said. — VNS