The State Bank of Vietnam has instructed commercial banks to check the investments of economic groups and State-owned corporations in accordance with a prime ministerial directive.

The instruction, designed to ensure these entities comply with regulations and obtain prime ministerial approval before investing in finance, banking and securities, was issued late on Wednesday.

The directive also orders the Finance Ministry to examine the financial condition; capital demand for production and business of economic groups and State-owned corporations.

The examination will help determine whether or not these entities need to expand their investment as commercial banks increase their charter capital.

Strategic shareholders will have to contribute more money when as many as 20 commercial banks increase their charter capital to 3 trillion VND (153.84 million USD) later in the year.

The central bank's order of a check of State-owned-enterprise investments is intended to ensure the money is well spent.

State-owned telecommunications giant Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) received Government approval last week to increase its holding in the Maritime Bank to 19.3 percent, or 96.6 million shares from 91.97 million shares.

The rise in stake is part of Maritime Bank's effort to increase its charter capital from 3 trillion VND (153.84 million USD) to 5 trillion VND (256.41 million USD) this year.

Viet Nam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) now owns 20 percent of Ocean Bank; Electricity of Vietnam 27 percent of An Binh Bank, Viet Nam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) 10 percent of Maritime Bank, Vietnam Textile and Garment Group 11 percent of Nam Viet Bank; the Vietnam Machinery Erection Corporation (LILAMA) and Sai Gon Trading Group 5 percent of Habubank.

The Government and the State Bank of Vietnam rejected the bid of State-owned./.