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Bank aims to save seafood company

Update: August, 31/2012 - 10:14

HA NOI — The Sai Gon – Ha Noi Bank (SHB) says it will move to restructure the debt-ridden Bianfishco firm in a bid to save the seafood processor.

SHB recently acquired a 50 per cent in Bianfishco.

"Bianfishco's debt was previously owed to Habubank, and we have to take charge of this after the merger," said SHB general director Nguyen Van Le.

SHB chairman Do Quang Hien said Bianfishco was in a good position to overcome its current challenges.

"Bianfishco is among a few companies in the fisheries sector licensed for direct exports to the US market with an export tax rate of 0 per cent," Hien told the Vietnam Investment Review.

During a period of stable operation, Bianfishco earned an average revenue of US$100 million per year. Its troubles last year and current losses are estimated at VND600 billion ($28.5 million).

The restructuring will be conducted by both SHB and the Ministry of Finance's Debt and Asset Trading Corp.

Sources from SHB said other banks had agreed to reschedule Bianfishco's debts. The Bank for Investment and Development of Viet Nam and Viet Nam Development Bank will negotiate to convert the debt into stakes as Bianfishco increases its charter capital. The seafood processor expects to increase capital to VND1.2 trillion ($57.1 million) from VND500 billion ($23.8 million) when business operations become stable.

SHB has moved fast to restructure Bianfishco, as its merger with Habubank has only recently been completed.

Doubts have been raised over whether the bank wanted to take-over Bianfishco. However, Le said the rumours were not true. — VNS

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