15/01/2018 09:41 GMT+7 print

Standard Chartered Bank ends 12-year partnership with ACB

Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) has ended its “12-year marriage” with the Asia Commercial Bank (ACB), offloading its entire holding of more than 154 million shares in the Vietnamese bank.

The transaction was completed on January 9 for an undisclosed sum.

According to the Vietnam Depository Securities Centre’s announcement, Standard Chartered APR Limited transferred 89.9 million shares, equivalent to 8.75 percent of ACB’s capital, to Estes Investment Ltd and Sather Gate Investment Ltd.

Meanwhile, Standard Chartered Ltd sold 64.2 million shares, or 6.25 percent of ACB’s capital, to three investment companies, including Boardwalk South Ltd, Whistler Investment Ltd and Estes Investment Ltd.

ACB’s shares are trading at some 40,000 VND (1.75 USD) a share on the Hanoi Stock Exchange, which valued the sale at about 6 trillion VND (263.2 million USD).

In mid-2005, Standard Chartered spent 22 million USD to acquire 8.56 percent of ACB’s capital and upstake holding to 15 percent in July 2008 for an additional 135 million USD (excluding the money to purchase ACB’s convertible bonds).

At that time, ACB’s shares were valued at 68,000 VND a share.

In the bank’s annual shareholders’ meeting in April 2017, Standard Chartered officially confirmed its plan of divestment. Earlier in March 2016, it withdrew two representatives from ACB’s management board.

The foreign bank had explained it was under pressure to cut costs after suffering losses from emerging markets.

There seems to be a trend that foreign banks are withdrawing investment from local banks.

In the early days of 2018, BNP Paribas offloaded its entire stake of 18.68 percent in the Orient Commercial Bank (OCB), ending the 10-year alliance between the two banks.

Unlike OCB, ACB demonstrated strong performance, with consolidated profit of more than 2 trillion VND by the end of September 2017, up 60 percent year-on-year. Its share price climbed 76 percent in 2017.