Vietnam International Bank (VIB) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) on Oct. 20 announced CBA had taken an increased stake in VIB as a strategic shareholder.

CBA invested an additional 1.15 trillion VND (58 million USD) to strengthen the capital base and capital adequacy ratio (CAR).

This lifted CBA's stake from 15 to 20 percent. VIB's shareholders' equity is now more than 8.2 trillion VND (390 million USD).

Previously, CBA invested capital in VIB and also conducted a "capability transfer" programme to help improve business, management, and risk management and strengthen competitiveness, said Wayne Hoy, general manager of International Financial Service Division of CBA-Sydney.

Hoy said the number of CBA staff working at VIB would be 40 in 2012 and gradually rise in following years. The exchange of people between VIB and CBA would also accelerate as VIB continues its quest to become a best-practice financial services organisation.

"Both VIB and CBA share the objective of being number one bank for customer experience in our respective countries. With CBA's increased investment in VIB, we have expanded our commitment to capability transfer to help the bank implement its business and operation plans and to grow sustainably." said Hoy

Han Ngoc Vu, chairman of VIB's board of directors said that for many years, VIB was determined to lift customer service and finance and risk management capabilities to international standards. He said CBA's involvement for more than one year was part of the roadmap.

Recently, Fitch Ratings, one of the world's leading rating agencies, said Vietnamese banks needed to raise capital to increase their capital reserves and expand operations./.