|TPBank's forex trading jumped 468 per cent to VNĐ142 billion in the first three quarter of 2020. Photo cafef.vn
HÀ NỘI — Many banks have gained significant profit increases from foreign exchange (forex) trading this year.
According to banks’ Q3 2020 financial statements, 15 banks reported high profits in the business segment in the first three quarters of this year with some even posting rising rates of hundreds of per cent over the same period last year.
Commercial Joint Stock Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank) was the biggest earner with more than VNĐ2.96 trillion (US$128.6 million) of net profit from forex trading, up by 16.9 per cent over the same period of 2019 and accounting for 8.6 per cent of the bank’s total operating income.
Commercial Joint Stock Bank for Industry and Trade of Vietnam (VietinBank) ranked second with VNĐ1.51 trillion of forex trading net profit, up by 27.3 per cent over the same period of last year, contributing 4.7 per cent to the bank’s total operating income.
Other large banks such as Commercial Joint Stock Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Sacombank) and Military Commercial Joint Stock Bank (MBB) also posted significant profits from forex trading.
At medium- and small-sized banks, though the proportion of profits from forex trading accounted for a modest rate in the banks’ total profits, the growth rate was impressive.
Tiên Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank), for example, is one of the banks that achieved the strongest profit growth from forex trading in the period with a rise of 468 per cent to VNĐ142 billion.
Similarly, Southeast Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SeABank) also recorded a surge of 226.7 per cent to VNĐ49 billion in forex trading.
The forex trading profit of Nam Á Commercial Joint Stock Bank (NamABank) also soared to VNĐ51 billion in the first three quarters of 2020 from VNĐ19 billion in the same period last year.
Other banks such as Maritime Commercial Joint Stock Bank (MSB) and Saigon Hanoi Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SHB) gained more than 100 per cent growth in forex trading profit in the past period, at 134 per cent and 131.6 per cent, respectively.
In the forex trading business, most of the net profit comes from the foreign currency spot trading, which means that the income comes from the gap between buying and selling prices.
In the past nine months, although the exchange rate did not record significant changes, the gap between selling and buying prices has widened by about VNĐ200, compared with just VNĐ90-120 in the same period last year and VNĐ70-80 years ago. Since the gap is now much wider, banks’ profit margin, accordingly, increases more.
Meanwhile, the demand for foreign currency transactions of the economy were significantly expanded in the past nine months. According to the General Statistics Office, the country’s total export and import turnover reached nearly US$389 billion in the last nine months, up 1.8 per cent over the same period of 2019.
Besides, banks also conducted a large amount of foreign currency transactions with the State Bank of Việt Nam when the central bank accelerated buying of the US dollar to increase the nation’s forex reserves.
In the past nine months, the central bank purchased about $14 billion, raising the total forex reserves to a record high level of $93 billion. — VNS