Three banks to unite, seeing foreign capital around

The Australia-based banking and investment group Macquarie has finished preparations to team up with three banks that are undertaking a union process in Vietnam.

The First Commercial Bank (Ficombank), Vietnam Tin Nghia Bank and Saigon Commercial Bank (SCB) are uniting into one institution in line with Vietnam’s policy to restructure its banking system.

Capital source

Amid the context, Dr Lee George Lam, chairman for Indochina of Macquarie Capital, a global provider of banking, financial, advisory, investment and funds management services, has come to work with the three banks. During his working visit, a strategic cooperation agreement was signed between Macquarie Capital and the three banks.

In addition, Dr Lee George Lam was also named chief of the Advisory Council for the three-bank union. With the new role, he will advise on the three banks’ new business strategy to improve effectiveness, look for suitable strategic shareholders, call for more investment, as well as possibilities to an initial public offering in Vietnam and outside the country.

Obviously, the three banks, the first to unite in line with the Vietnamese policy, have teamed up with Macquarie Group, which currently manages assets worth more than US$317 billion. The group is considered one of the top 30 investors in infrastructure in Australia, and known across the world.

Behind Macquarie’s decision

There are reasons why Macquarie is interested in the three Vietnamese banks amid financial difficulties in the world.

According to financial experts, the three banks hold their own strengths. Latest statistics shows that all the three banks have reported better financial results, compared with those last year.

By September 30, 2011, Ficombank posted its total assets at more than VND17,100 billion, equal to 128% of the target. The pre-tax profit was VND219 billion, or 77% of this year’s VND285 billion target.

Vietnam Tin Nghia Bank announced that its total assets in the first nine months were VND58,939 billion, increasing by 26% on last year, and 7.16% higher than the target. The pre-tax profit was VND579.6 billion, rising by 18% on last year and 5.3% higher than the target. The total deposits were VND53.325 billion, 11.1% higher than the target.

Meanwhile, SCB had total assets equal to VND77,985 billion by September. The chartered capital was VND4.193 billion and pre-tax profit was VND529 billion.

The union of the three banks will make a new bank financially stronger. It will have more than VND10,500 billion in the chartered capital, over VND150 trillion in total assets. Such the united bank would be among the top commercial banks in Vietnam in terms of assets. In addition to that, investment from Macquarie will help make it stronger.

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