Shares of the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), under the code BID, are expected to be listed on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange (HOSE) on January 24.

After HOSE's approval of the bank's registration for listing on January 15, there will be 2.8 billion shares on offer for 18,700 VND (0.89 USD) each. The shares account for 5 percent of the total capital in the stock market, making the shares of the banking industry total 27 percent, leading the stock market in term of capital.

BIDV is the country's second largest bank by assets and networks, after Agribank.

As of September 30, 2013, the bank's total assets were worth 535.8 trillion VND (25.5 billion USD) with 127 branches and nearly 700 outlets in 63 cities and provinces.

The bank, more than 95 percent of which is owned by the State, held an IPO in late December 2011 at a price of 18,600 VND (0.88 USD). The planned debut price is to be not less than 1.5 times that of the IPO price of 27,800 VND (1.32 USD).

According to Tran Phuong, BIDV Deputy Director, the stock market is witnessing signs of recovery because of an improvement in the economy. One of the most visible signs is the VN-Index jumping 8 percent to a four-year high, which suggests that it is a good time for stock listings.

In 2012, BIDV's pre-tax profit was estimated at more than 5.2 trillion VND (247.62 million USD). The expectation is that it earned at least 6 trillion VND (285.7 million USD) in pre-tax profit this year.

Phuong said that BIDV plans to seek two foreign partners, who will have a total shareholding of 25-30 percent after listing. A recent regulation, Government Decree No 1, allowing foreign strategic partners to own up to 20 percent in a local bank's total shareholdings, is likely to make any investment in the financial markets more attractive to investors.

Experts said BIDV's listing will help increase the size and liquidity of the stock market, as well as the transparency of the banking sector, which is undergoing significant restructuring currently.-VNA