SBV asks to issue revised decree on foreign ownership cap at Vietnamese banks hinh anh 1A view of a HDBank’s transaction office in Hanoi. HDBank might be allowed to increase the foreign ownership cap to 49% after receiving compulsory transfer of a weak bank. (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has suggested the Government to issue a revised decree on foreign investors buying shares from Vietnamese credit institutions.

Under a report recently submitted to the Government, the SBV said the revised decree will amend and supplement a number of articles of the Government's Decree No. 01/2014/ND-CP dated January 3, 2014.

Notably, the revised decree drafts to increase the foreign ownership limit for credit institutions that receive the compulsory transfer of weak credit institutions to 49%.

Decree No. 01 stipulates that the total share ownership rate of foreign investors must not exceed 30% of the charter capital of a Vietnamese credit institution.

According to the SBV, four banks will receive compulsory transfer of four weak banks and two of them will be allowed to increase the foreign ownership limit to 49%, but detailed plans haven’t released yet.

Vietcombank, Military Bank, HDBank and VPBank are the four financial institutions that are reportedly known to either have already stated intentions to receive compulsory transfer or aim to do so in the near future.

Military Bank and Vietcombank had intended to take over two weak credit institutions, and the plans were given the green light in their shareholders’ meetings this year.

At the shareholders’ meeting last year, Luu Trung Thai, CEO of Military Bank, said the admission of a bank under the compulsory transfer programme is in line with the Government and the State’s policy on restructuring weak banks, and making the banking operation healthier and more sustainable. This is a great opportunity to obtain an operational growth rate higher than the average growth rate by 1.5-2 times in the long term, and to improve competitiveness.

Meanwhile, with experience in the successful restructuring of credit institutions and its pioneering spirit, HDBank is getting involved in the compulsory transfer of another weak credit institution after its shareholders voted in large numbers in favour of the plan in a meeting last year.

According to SSI Securities Corporation, the mandatory transfer plan has positive long-term implications for HDBank, even for international investors increasing investment to accompany the bank.

Meanwhile, VPBank Chairman Ngo Chi Dung said the bank is considering the acquisition of a poor credit institution.

According to the current regulations, State-owned Vietcombank is not qualified to raise the foreign ownership cap as the State must hold more than 50% of the bank’s capital. Therefore, two of the remaining three banks MB, HDBank and VPBank will have opportunity to increase the cap./.