The bank for Development and Investment of Vietnam (BIDV) officially announced a 12 percent rise in its registered capital from 28.11 trillion VND (1.30 billion USD) to 31.48 trillion VND (1.44 billion USD).

The increase in registered capital follows its merger with State-owned Mekong Housing Bank (MHB).

On April 25, the State Bank of Vietnam issued Decision No.589/QD-NHNN on the merger. On the same day, the State Security Commission allowed the bank to issue 336.9 million shares, with a combined value of 3.369 trillion VND (160.43 million USD), to complete the merger, with every share of MHB converted into a share of the development bank.

BIDV Chairman Tran Bac Ha told a news conference in Hanoi on July 1 that after a month of merger, the bank's operation has been functioning efficiently.

Ha said they can sell stakes to foreign strategic partners next year as the country will surely integrate further into the world economy.

It will sell a 15-20 percent stake to one of the long-term foreign investors in the banking sector and 10 percent to another overseas investor, while state-ownership will be maintained at 65 percent.

He added that the selling of stakes will have to follow a plan, which is approved by the Government, and should ensure benefits for the State as well as businesses.

The chairman refused to divulge the name of any foreign investor with whom they have been in talks with due to a confidentiality clause, and noted that it will depend on the performances of Vietnam's stock market and its shares.

BIDV made its initial public offering (IPO) in 2011 and listed in HCM City Stock Exchange in 2012. However, the IPO fell into economic crises, affecting the prices of BIDV shares that never reached desired levels.

It has been one of the reasons that the consultancy firm suggested selling their stakes to foreign investors.

During the first half of the year, the economy recovered and GDP was expected to surpass 6.2 percent.

"Based on these factors, BIDV will complete the selling of its stakes in 2016 for the maximum price as its share prices have been on an increasing trend," he remarked.

Last year, its total assets grew 17.4 percent year-on-year to about 45 trillion VND (2.14 billion USD) and pre-tax profits reached 162 billion VND (7.71 million USD), reflecting a year-on-year increase of 14 percent.

Its deposits jumped 14.4 percent to more than 37 trillion VND (1.76 billion USD) and outstanding loans grew by 13.8 percent to 30.60 trillion VND (1.46 billion USD) in 2014, with the bad debt ratio pegged at 2.72 percent at the end of the year.

This year, the bank has targeted growth rates at 16.5 percent for deposits and 16 percent for lending and will control its bad debt ratio below 2.5 percent. It also expects to earn 7.5 trillion VND (357.14 million USD) in gross profits and pay dividends at 9 percent.-VNA