Banks make huge profits, but won’t pay dividends

VietNamNet Bridge - Many banks have announced they will not pay 2014’s dividends to shareholders, even though they have declared trillions of dong in profit. This has raised doubts about the status of the banks’ health. Despite fierce opposition from small shareholders, Techcombank’s 2015 shareholders’ meeting still approved a plan on not paying 2014 dividends, but using all the profits for re-investments. Techcombank’s president Ho Hung Anh said this was not the first time the bank’s board of directors faced strong opposition from shareholders. However, it is steadfast with its policy. Anh also said that Techcombank does not intend to pay dividends in the next 3-5 years as well. The statement implies that long-term investors would not make money from Techcombank shares for about 10 years. Shareholders had every reason to cause such a backlash toward Techcombank’s board of directors. The bank has repeatedly reported high growth rates, … [Read more...]

Greenback firmer again, gold down

Tran Thu Customers buy gold at a shop in HCMC. Domestic gold price has inched down by VND40,000 per tael since early this month - PHOTO: UYEN VIEN Most banks raised greenback selling prices by VND10-30 to VND21,630-21,655 per dollar on April 8 from the previous day. DongABank, ACB, Sacombank, VPBank and Eximbank were selling the greenback at VND21,640. While Vietcombank offered the lowest selling price at VND21,630, up VND10 against Tuesday, Techcombank’s quotation was VND21,655, a VND30 increase from Tuesday and VND17 lower than the ceiling set by the central bank. The foreign exchange rate has approached the upper limit although the central bank on March 25 announced to keep the rate fluctuation within a range of 2% this year. The agency also attributed psychological factors to the dollar appreciation. In a report at the end of March, HSBC Bank said Vietnam’s foreign reserves had climbed to about US$36 billion. However, the risk is that the central bank … [Read more...]

Foreign exchange rate approaches upper limit

Tran Thu Local banks on April 1 quoted the dollar selling price at VND21,595-21,610 a dollar, up VND5-30 from the day earlier. Vietcombank and VPBank offered the lowest price, at VND21,595, while ACB and DongABank quoted the highest rate, at VND21,610. From the second week of March banks repeatedly revised up dollar prices, sending the exchange rate up to VND21,590 on March 24. Then, the rate fell to VND21,525-21,540 on March 25-26. On March 25, the central bank clarified its position to keep the exchange rate movement within a band of 2% on either side this year as earlier targeted. The central bank explained psychological factors were the main cause of the dollar surge on global markets in previous days. Meanwhile, dollar supply and demand in the country remains balanced while the balance of payments ran a surplus of US$2.8 billion in the first quarter. Just several days after the announcement, the exchange rate has turned sharply volatile. Ngo Dang Khoa, head of trading … [Read more...]

Indonesian firm mulls Hanoimilk bid

Vietnamese dairy producer Hanoimilk is reportedly a target for Tiga Pilar Sejahtera Food, an Indonesian food producer. The ASEAN company is planning to invest US$80 million in food producers in Viet Nam and Malaysia, quoted Asian-agribiz as saying. Tiga Pilar is among the largest biscuit producers in Indonesia, has market shares in rice and packed noodles. It also has palm farms. In 2013, sales reached $390.2 million and net profit was $33.3 million. Its total assets are now $413.1 million. Sjambiri Lioe, Tiga Pilar's finance director, said that negotiations with Hanoimilk would be completed shortly. Barry Weisblatt, VPBank Securities' Head of Research Department, said that Tiga Pilar hoped to expand its annual profit by $18.8-23.5 million by selling Hanoimilk's products in Indonesia. The company has seen a decline in sales and it has also been short of capital to improve product quality and develop its own cattle farm of 2,000 cows in Me Linh District, worth … [Read more...]

Vietnam targets record year of stake sales in state firms

Landing and parked Vietnam Airlines aircraft are seen, as well as a Vietjet A320 aircraft (right), at the Tan Son Nhat airport in Vietnam's southern Ho Chi Minh City on Oct 20, 2013. Photo credit: Reuters Vietnam will offer to sell a record amount of shares in state-owned companies this year, with the government planning to publicize a list of assets available to accelerate a program that has repeatedly missed targets. "With about 280 companies, mostly large conglomerates on the list, this will be a record year for the value of state stakes to be sold," Dang Quyet Tien, deputy general director of the finance ministry’s corporate finance department, said in an interview in Hanoi March 13. "Making the list public with the size of stakes on offer will help attract more investors." Vietnam is trying to quicken a share sale program that began in the 1990s as the government seeks to spur economic growth to a four-year high of 6.2 percent this year. The complexities of the … [Read more...]

VCCI, VPBank Sign Comprehensive Strategic Partnership

With the aim of supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to improve competitiveness and access banking products and services in the modern business environment, on March 4, 2015, the Vietnam Prosperity Commercial Joint Stock Bank (VPBank) and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) signed a comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement. According to the agreement, VPBank and VCCI will cooperate in five key areas: Information exchange, professional training for businesses, conference organisation for businesses, corporate advisory, and corporate brand development. Specifically, the two sides will jointly organise short-term training courses for businesses to help them improve financial management skills and grasp information about banking products and services and business support policies. VPBank and VCCI will also host specialised conferences for businesses to discuss and share information and contents. VPBank and VCCI are committed to advising businesses on many … [Read more...]

Credit growth sees Tet spike

Credit activities have developed strongly in the first months of the new year, a positive sign for the economy's recovery, independent market observers have said. The economy's credit growth as of February 24 rose by 0.96% compared with the figure recorded late last year, according a source from the Ministry of Planning and Investment. Meanwhile, another source said the credit grew by 1% by February. Analysts said these were surprising changes because the country showed negative credit growth in the first few months of previous years. For instance, credit growth decreased by 1.67% in February last year. Senior economic expert Dr. Vo Tri Thanh explained that many enterprises had been expecting economic recovery. A leader of the Viet Nam International Bank (VIB) told Dau Tu newspaper that many sources had predicted that economic performance would improve this year, so the bank expected good credit growth. Both lending and deposit rates are at stable and low levels, which has also … [Read more...]

Cooking oil market starts to heat up

In addition to importing more cooking oil products, Vietnam's domestic cooking oil market is seeing growing competition between the new and experienced brands. The Vietnam Vegetable Oil Industry Corporation (Vocarimex), a cooking oil giant with four subsidiary companies and three associated companies, owns the largest chunk of market share in the domestic cooking oil sector. However, in view of its falling market share in the recent years, the corporation decided to sell 24 percent of its shares to Kinh Do Corporation (KDC) and 8 percent to VPBank Securities. The Kinh Do Confectionary Corporation recently spent some more 530 billion VND (24.9 million USD) to buy a 27 percent stake in Vocarimex, boosting its stake in Vocarimex to 51 percent. Accordingly, the KDC will support Vocarimex in distribution system development, brand name and technology. Vocarimex's market share increased from 50 percent to 95 percent during the 1994 to 2000 period, but fell to 90 percent in 2010 and … [Read more...]

Overworked American broker seeking pay cut and riches in Vietnam

An electronic stock ticker displays share prices as a laborer paints outside the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HOSE) in Ho Chi Minh City. While Vietnam’s stock market has outperformed, volumes are still dwarfed larger peers. After six years trading stocks in New York and Hong Kong, Patrick Mitchell decided he’d had enough. The 30-year-old left the long hours and shrinking commissions behind in 2013 to join a firm that most of his colleagues had never heard of: VinaSecurities Joint-Stock Co. in Ho Chi Minh City. He’s now head of institutional sales at the company, living in a villa at least five times the size of his Hong Kong studio and helping to handle an influx of foreign investment that propelled Vietnam’s stock market to a third straight year of gains in 2014. "I wanted to be a bigger fish in a smaller pond," said the Chicago native, who previously worked at Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. and Reorient Financial Markets Ltd. "There are 100 other expat brokers … [Read more...]

Corporate bonds slumped in 2014

Vietnam corporations issued far fewer bonds in 2014, despite the participation of many big companies. Total value of corporate bond issues for the whole year reached about 22.922 trillion VND (1.07 billion USD), a year-on-year decrease of 33.4 percent and accounting for less than one percent of the country's GDP, according to the Ministry of Finance's Banking and Financial Institution's data. Meanwhile, government bond issues climbed 37 percent over 2013, totalling more than 248 trillion VND (11.6 billion USD) last year, equivalent to 6.24 percent of GDP. Outstanding corporate bonds were a mere 2.5 percent of GDP while the number of government bonds was 12.84 percent. Many large companies issued big bond issues, such as Vietnam National Coal Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin), 3 trillion VND (140.2 million USD); Hoang Anh Gia Lai Co (HAG) and Masan Group (MSN), each issuing bonds worth over 2 trillion VND (93.5 million USD), Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam … [Read more...]

Kinh Do to pour nearly $25mil. into vegetable oil corporation

Kinh Do Confectionary Corporation plans to spend some VND530 billion (US$24.9 million) to buy a 27-per cent stake in the Viet Nam Vegetable Oil Industry Corporation (Vocarimex). The scheduled purchase was detailed in a decree issued by the confectionary producer's managerial board on January 2. Specifically, Kinh Do (KDC) will purchase 32.886 million shares of Vocarimex at a price of VND16,000 ($0.75) per share. Kinh Do plans to complete the purchase within 30-60 days, in line with the timeframe permitted by the State Securities Commission. The transaction will be carried out by Rong Viet Security Company. The successful transaction will bring Kinh Do's stake in Vocarimex to 51 per cent. Once Kinh Do becomes Vocarimex's major shareholder, it will support the vegetable oil corporation by making changes to improve the efficiency of the corporation's operations over the long term. For instance, it will promote the expansion of its distribution network and develop new … [Read more...]

Banks speed up lending ahead of Tet

The Saigon Times Daily Vietnam Prosperity Bank (VPBank) offers business installment loans and unsecured cards for enterprises wanting to raise capital and invest in fixed assets such as factories, machines and equipment, Vietnam News Agency reports. For the business installment loan product, each firm is entitled to a credit limit of VND5 billion (US$234,500) with a tenor of three years. Meanwhile, with the unsecured card, VPBank offer loans of up to VND2 billion each and other incentives for corporates. The bank said the two products are designed for businesses in sectors such as wood processing, textile, garment, consumer goods and electronics. Meanwhile, VietABank has launched a credit package for individual customers who want to do business, construct or repair homes, and buy cars. The bank applies an interest rate of 7.7% per annum and flexible lending terms. Loans are available from now to March 31. Trinh Minh Thao, deputy general director of VietABank, said the bank … [Read more...]

Focus turns to social housing development

VietNamNet Bridge – The construction ministry will focus on housing development this year, especially social housing projects, said Minister Trinh Dinh Dung at a recent meeting. A villa under construction at the Hoang Yen 2 Project in Hoa Binh Province's Luong Son District. The Ministry of Construction will focus on housing development this year. Dung added that the real estate market was identified as one of the priority sectors of the ministry during this year, adding that it would continue to implement measures to tackle difficulties faced by the realty market in line with the implementation of the national housing development strategy. Real estate projects would try to meet the market demand, with the ministry aiming to boost the number of social housing projects and small and medium-sized commercial apartments at affordable prices, Dung said. The ministry has reported that more than 100 social housing projects in major cities have been completed, including 38 … [Read more...]

HDBank finances resort project in Ba Ria-Vung Tau

The Saigon Times Daily The bank will offer preferential loans at an interest rate of 3.8% per annum in the first six months to customers buying villas and luxury apartments of the project and meeting certain requirements. The preferential interest is applied to the lending contracts signed between now and the end of March. HDBank said loans would be disbursed at the request of customers. Cotec Asia, a member of Cotec Group, began work on the Blue Sapphire resort project in 2010. The luxury resort covers an area of around 76,900 square meters and consists of 36 villas and 260 seaview apartments. The basic construction of the 36 villas is complete and ten of them have been sold to customers. VPBank supports rice, seafood firms * Vietnam Prosperity Bank (VPBank) has set aside VND1 trillion to offer preferential loans for rice and seafood companies based in the Mekong Delta. Each of the small and medium enterprises (SME) buying, processing, supplying and exporting rice and … [Read more...]

Stocks retreat on investor caution

Investors watch electronics trading boards at VPBank Securities in Ha Noi. Photo: VNA Stocks failed to hold gains on January 19 as investors stayed cautious ahead of the 2014 earnings report for listed companies and probable risks from Circular 36, which is expected to restrain lending for stock investments. On the Hochiminh Stock Exchange, the benchmark VN-Index lost more than 3 points, or 0.57 percent, closing the January 19 session at 571.51 points. Blue chips led the downturn as over half of the top 30 shares by market value and liquidity declined with the VN30 down 0.5 percent to end at 611.64 points. Phu My Fertiliser (DPM) was the biggest loser, down 5.3 percent and finishing at 30,600 VND (1.43 USD) a share. Other large-cap shares like Vietcombank (VCB), Hoang Anh Gia Lai Co (HAG), Bao Viet Holdings (BVH), Saigon Securities Inc (SSI) and FPT Corp (FPT) also slumped between 0.6 and 2.5 percent. Liquidity was low, with the market volume reaching just 88.4 million shares … [Read more...]

Foreign banks look local for CEOs

While local banks may prefer a foreign CEO, some foreign banks are now eyeing Vietnamese CEOs. Pham Hong Hai has been appointed the new CEO of HSBC Bank (Vietnam) Ltd., after being approved from the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) and the HSBC Group. Hai has replaced Sumit Dutta, HSBC’s former CEO in Vietnam who moved to HSBC Indonesia. ANZ Bank (Vietnam) Ltd. also recently selected Phan Thi Thanh Binh as ANZ’s acting CEO in Vietnam, replacing Tareq Muhmood in October. However this wasn’t ANZ’s first Vietnamese appointment. Dam Bich Thuy previously held the ANZ Vietnam CEO position for an extended period of time. Hong Leong Bank Vietnam Ltd. also replaced its foreign CEO after Le Minh Tam took the position earlier in the year. Local banks have preferred foreign CEOs. Techcombank nomitated Simon Morris as the bank’s CEO in January 2012. However, after two years heading operations, Morris left and Do Anh Tuan, member of the management board, has been acting … [Read more...]

More banks offer low-cost loans for home buyers

An additional eight commercial joint stock banks will join the government’s 30 trillion VND (1.4 billion USD) housing credit stimulus scheme, improving access to loans for low-cost apartments. New low-cost loan providers include the Vietnam Export-Import Bank (Eximbank), the Bao Viet Commercial Bank, the Saigon Commercial Bank (SCB), the Vietnam Public Commercial Bank (Pvcombank), the Tien Phong Bank (TPBank), the Oriental Commercial Bank (OCB), the Vietnam Prosperity Bank (VPBank), and the Southeast Asia Bank (SeABank). The eight banks will join five commercial banks with half their capital owned by the State in the scheme, including the Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Agribank), the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), the Vietnam Bank for Industry and Trade (VietinBank), the Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank) and the Mekong Housing Bank. Launched in June 2013, the credit package offers loans with a maximum … [Read more...]

11 banks in Vietnam meet international payment standards

The American multinational banking and financial services corporation Citi announced the list of 11 banks in Vietnam who won the Straight Through Processing - STP 2014 Award on December 11. (Photo: SGGP) They have been awarded for their ability of conducting through payment transactions and daily service quality. The 11 awardees include Joint Stock Commercial bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank), Bank of Investment & Development Vietnam (BIDV); Vietnam Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development (Agribank), Vietinbank, Vietnam Technological & Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Techcombank), Military Commercial Joint Stock bank (Military Bank), Vietnam Prosperity Bank (VPBank), Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank (ACB), Saigon Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Sacombank), Vietnam Export-Import Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Eximbank) and Taipei Fubon - HCMC branch. … [Read more...]

Funding VPBank Smartcash Card – Getting Gifts Instantly

From December 5, 2014 to January 31, 2015, Vietnam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank (VPBank) deployed a promotion programme called "Funding Smartcash cards - Super easy, super preferential" with more than 4,000 gifts waiting for customers. Accordingly, when customers deposit VND100,000 or more into their VPBank Visa Smartcash cards, they will be given a lucky code used for lucky draw on the website (one for code every VND50,000). Lucky customers will have the chance to win vouchers for buying cosmetics, gym cards, movie tickets, belts, key chains and other items. Particularly, there is no limit to the time of funding or the value of funding during the promotional programme on such channels as telephone top-up, internet banking and e-commerce website. With its superior online payment features applicable to both domestic and international markets, VPBank Visa Smartcash is a smart solution enabling swift, easy and secure online shopping. After over one year of … [Read more...]

VPBank Leverages iCreate’s Consulting Expertise for Activating Data Governance

Prominent Vietnamese financial institution, VPBank has successfully completed a strategic initiative on Data Governance establishment with the help of consulting services from Banking Decision Enablement pioneers, iCreate. The engagement, comprising assessment, definition, roadmap & a pilot implementation was accomplished in a time span of 10 weeks. The key thrust was on knowledge transfer and thereby enabling the team in VPBank to implement the governance framework within a short span of time. Though a few banks in Vietnam have invested or are on their way to invest in data warehousing technology, VPBank is the first bank to tackle challenges in end-to-end data management through a holistic approach. Driven by VPBank’s CEO Mr. Nguyen Duc Vinh’s larger vision of instituting data as a ‘key asset’, stakeholders within the bank recognized early on that the foundation for building data-driven decision making culture meant having an EDW technology complimented … [Read more...]