The Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank) has received a thumbs-up from the State Bank of Vietnam to list nearly 1.6 billion shares on the domestic stock market.

According to Vietcombank, 90.73 percent of its total shares are owned by the State, represented by the State Bank.

To now, Vietcombank (listed as VCB on the HCM Stock Exchange) has had 163.19 million shares listed, representing nearly 9.2 percent of the bank's total capital.

According to experts, listing shares would have a positive effect on the VN-Index which is calculated on the basis of the price fluctuation of listed share volumes on the stock market.

A road map for listed shares has not as yet been developed however.

At the bank's annual shareholders meeting in April, Vietcombank approved its own plan of raising its charter capital by 40 percent to 24.622 trillion VND (1.1895 billion USD) from the current 17.587 trillion VND (849.6 million USD) during the course of 2011.

Further plans include establishing a schedule for luring strategic foreign shareholders via the private placement of 20 percent of the bank's total shares.

More than 492 million new shares, or 20 percent of the total, are expected to go to foreign buyers, who in turn are expected to be banks, financial institutions and global investment organisations that want to expand operations in Asia, especially in Vietnam .

Foreign buyers are expected to have successful investment experience and a financial capacity of at least regional proportions in order to help support the bank's development.

The price for private placements will be negotiated based on advice from international financial consultancies in order that Vietcombank and its shareholders could benefit accordingly./.