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VietNamNews

State to keep major stake in banks

Update: March, 11/2014 - 08:42
A customer makes enquiries at a Vietcombank branch in Ha Noi. A new resolution stipulates that the State will hold a minimum 65 per cent stake in its banks after equitisation. — VNS Photo Thai Ha

HA NOI (VNS)— The state will remain the dominant stakeholder in State-owned banks and allow State-owned enterprises (SOEs) to divest from non-core businesses below the book value, according to newly-issued Government Resolution No 15/NQ-CP.

The resolution, which generally draws measures to hasten equitisation and state-capital withdrawals in SOEs, reaffirms that the state will continue to hold at least 65 per cent stake in the Bao Viet Group and five state-owned commercial banks, excluding Vietinbank.

The state holds 64.5 per cent stake in Vietinbank, Japanese bank Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ holds 19.73 per cent, and the remaining is held by the other investors.

The four other banks are Vietcombank, BIDV, Agribank, and Housing Bank of Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta. The State holds 77.11 per cent stake in Vietcombank and 95.76 per cent stake in BIDV.

On the other hand, the resolution states that conglomerates, general corporations, and companies must manage to cap state-ownership at no more than 65 per cent.

In an attempt to accelerate the process of divesting from non-core businesses, the government has allowed SOEs to sell state capital at lower prices than book values after deducting risk provision funds.

Unlisted SOEs can themselves manage or hire the services of securities companies to transfer financial investments worth more than VND10 billion (US$470,000) at face value. If this fails, then the enterprises will have to consider sales at negotiated prices.

The government informed the State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) to buy non-core investment in the banking and insurance sectors from the state conglomerates, general corporations, and companies. SCIC's stated goal as a sovereign wealth fund encompasses being an active shareholder in the state enterprises, being a professional financial consultant, and earning returns that can be reinvested in the government.

The purchases are based on the market prices, but must not exceed the book values after deducting risk provision funds.

The resolution also stresses that the responsibilities will be evaluated if any failure occurred in implementing capital withdrawal and equitisation. Heads of ministries, provinces, and cities must take responsibility, accordingly. — VNS


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