Vietinbank has fast-tracked negotiations to sell a 15 percent stake to the Bank of Nova Scotia in a deal expected to finalise in the third quarter of this year, Vietinbank chairman Pham Huy Hung told reporters in Hanoi on Jan. 25.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the financial arm of the World Bank, also announced on Jan. 25 that it would invest 182 million USD in a 10-percent stake in Vietinbank, pursuant to an agreement signed last October.

"I believe that the IFC's financial and advisory support will help us carry out our expansion and modernisation strategy and improve access to finance for small- and medium-sized enterprises," Hung said.

As a strategic partner, the IFC was committed to providing Vietinbank with advisory services in the areas of corporate governance, risk management, energy efficiency and information technology.

The IFC also agreed on Jan. 25 to make a subordinated loan of 125 million USD to Vietinbank. The loan, at an annual rate of six-month Libor plus 1.5 percent, would mature in 2021.

"The borrowing rate is very favourable," said Hung. "The credit meets all criteria to be considered second-tier equity."

The State currently holds 80 percent of equity in Vietinbank, while the IFC holds 10 percent and domestic investors, also 10 percent.

Vietinbank – the third largest bank in Vietnam by credit market share and fourth largest by stock market capitalisation – expects to double its charter capital over the next 10 years, from 15.17 trillion VND (757.46 million USD) to 30 trillion VND (1.5 billion USD).

Vietinbank shares, coded CTG on the HCM Stock Exchange, closed down 3.4 percent on Jan. 25 to 22,600 VND per share./.