Many commercial banks, including Agribank, Vietinbank, Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) and Sacombank, plan to increase charter capital this year, Dau tu (Vietnam Investment Review) newspaper reported.

Agribank expects to add 10 trillion VND (480 million USD) to make its charter capital 31 trillion VND (1.48 million USD).

Tran Phuong Binh, general director of DongA bank said: "DongA Bank will increase charter capital from 4.5 trillion VND (215 million USD) to 6 trillion VND (290 million USD) this year to raise its competitiveness."

Great Trust Commercial Bank (TrustBank) aimed to increase its charter capital to 5 trillion VND (240 million USD) from the current 3 trillion VND (145 million USD), Hoang Van Toan, chairman of the bank said, adding the move was essential to enhance financial capacity and competitiveness.

According to Trinh Van Tuan, general manager of Orient Commercial JS Bank, OCB had applied for their foreign partner BNP Paribas Bank to hold 20 percent of its charter capital when the bank raises it to 3 trillion VND from the existing 2.6 trillion VND (125 million USD).

Ha Van Tham, chairman of OceanBank, said the bank will raise charter capital to 5 trillion VND from the current 3.5 trillion VND (168 million USD).

"OceanBank has also set the target to gain pre-tax profit of 800 billion VND (38.3 million VND) against 690 billion VND (29 million USD) of last year. And it expects to pay a 12 percent dividend on 2011 profits," Tham said.

Though the deadline to implement Decree No 141/2006/ ND-CP, which stipulates minimum legal charter capital of commercial banks must be 3 trillion VND by late 2010, has been extended by one year to the end of 2011, most small banks have fixed their minimum compulsory authorised capital at 3 trillion VND.

Only about four banks including GiaDinh Bank and Ficombank have not finished the process of increasing capital, the paper reported.

It is harder for small commercial banks to raise charter capital than big banks, because the VN-Index and bank share prices are down given the government's currency tightening policy.

The small banks' highly competitive deposit interest rates are also causing them problems to extend their outstanding credit, so they need to exercise caution when announcing profit targets for this year./.