Banks lower bonus for big shareholders to please small holders

Many commercial banks slashed dividend payment of shareholders controlling large stakes to raise the payment of small holders in an effort to calm those who were upset with the low earning results and plunging share prices.

Shareholders of a listed company discuss at an annual general meeting in HCMC (Photo:Minh Tri)

NamABank made a pretax profit of VND185 billion (US$9.25 million) on a chartered capital of VND2 trillion last year, the HCMC-based lender announced at the annual general meeting (AGM) last week.

The bank also said it would pay in advanced a dividend payment at the rate of 10.5 percent.

Different from last year’s meeting which saw shareholders vexed with the low dividend rate of 3.5 percent, none of attendee this year complaint about the dividend rate that some experts said it remained low.

“The board of directors of the bank offered small shareholders a higher dividend rate than the big holders in an effort to relieve the formers,” a financial expert told Dau Tu Tai Chinh Newspaper.

“As the result, of which those holding stakes worth below VND10 billion ($500,000) would gain 2010’s dividend rate of 10.5 percent, while those holding stakes worth over that amount would achieve 6.05 percent,” he said.

NamABank this year offers small shareholders a dividend rate of 11 percent, while gives big holders a rate of 8.1 percent.

The lender also said at the AGM it would raise the registered capital to VND3 trillion ($150 million) this year through an issue of additional shares to shareholders. It targeted a pretax profit of VND460 billion, a year-on-year increase of 157 percent.

TrustBank followed a similar pattern, offering small shareholders a rate of 10.5 percent and big holders a rate of 8.5 percent.

The Long An Province-based lender this year is set to raise its registered capital to VND5 trillion and target a pretax profit of VND550 billion.

Experts said the move was to relieve small shareholders as shares in small-cap lenders could almost not be traded and their dividend rates were less than saving rates of 14 percent per annum.

However, not all shareholders get dividend payment this year. Many shareholders of Saigon Commercial Bank were upset on the lender’s announcement in the invitation to the AGM that they would not get the dividend payment with a rate of 8 percent.

The move came on the fact that the HCMC-based bank failed to meet the earning target, making a net profit of VND278 billion compared to the target of VND525 billion.

The bad-debt rate, which looks set to rise to 11.4 percent from 2 percent, forced the lender to set aside a part of the profit as a provision against its loans.

By Mai Thao – Translated by Vu Minh

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