The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank, has invested 40.5 million USD in Vietnam's An Binh Bank.

It has bought convertible bonds worth 480 billion VND (24 million USD) and regular bonds worth 312 billion VND.

"IFC's investment in the current unfavourable market conditions provides much needed long-term capital for An Binh Bank to pursue its portfolio growth and implement its capital increase plan in 2013," Vu Van Tien, the bank's chairman, said.

"The investment reinforces the capital position of An Binh Bank and supports the bank's efforts to strengthen its products and services with a focus on lending to small and mid-sized enterprises."

The IFC will also advise the bank on issues like corporate governance and energy-efficiency financing.

An agreement signed by the two sides last June envisages helping the bank design and implement a strategy to develop into a specialised bank serving small and mid-sized firms, which remain under-served in Vietnam .

"This investment demonstrates our commitment to the development of Vietnam's banking sector," Karin Finkelston, the IFC's director for East Asia and the Pacific, said.

In 2008 Malaysia's Maybank picked up a 15 percent stake in An Binh Bank and then increased it to 20 percent in 2009.

Last December it bought convertible bonds worth 120 billion VND (6 million USD) and regular bonds worth 78 billion VND to maintain its 20 percent stake in An Binh Bank./.