08/03/2017 16:00 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

SOEs to divest from banks on positive market outlook

Hanoi, March 8 (VNA) - Many State-owned enterprises (SOEs) are seeking to divest from commercial banks this year, as forecasts for the local stock remain positive.

Both The Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) and Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Agribank) plans to auction their holdings in Maritime Bank and Ocean Bank (OCB) in March.

VNPT has registered to offload its entire holding of 71.6 million shares in Maritime Bank at the starting price of 11,900 VND (0.52 USD) per share, equivalent to 6.09 percent of the bank’s capital, in an auction scheduled for March 10.

The move is in line with the direction of Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue to urge the telecommunication group to divest from its listed member companies.

On a smaller sale, Agribank will sell 390,665 shares in Ocean Bank during an auction in mid-March. The starting price is set at 10,200 VND per share.

Mobifone, one of the three largest mobile network operators in Vietnam, also plans to divest from Southeast Asia Commercial Bank (SeABank) and Tien Phong Bank (TPBank) this year, after the failure in 2016.

In April last year, Mobifone put up its entire holding of 33.4 million shares of SeABank, equivalent to 6.12 percent of the bank’s capital, for sale at the initial price of 9,600 VND per share, but no investors registered to buy.

The same month, it also registered to sell 14.28 million shares, or 2.57 percent of TPBank’s capital, and successfully sold 61 percent of this amount. Before the sale, the mobile network company held 4.76 percent of TPBank’s capital.

According to VP Bank Securities Company (VPS), banks could be among top best performers on the securities market this year, driven by the intense restructuring process in the financial system, as well as the Government’s support policy of easing foreign ownership limits in commercial banks.

In addition, many small banks have plans of debuting shares on the stock market this year, and this would facilitate divestment from these banks.

“The VN-Index could climb to 780 points this year, on the average price-earnings (P/E) ratio of 17,” VPS wrote in a report.

The benchmark VN-Index gained 14.8 percent in 2016, ending the year at 664.87 points. It has gained 7.2 percent this year.

In the third quarter of last year when the stock market had perked up, dairy firm Vinamilk (VNM) successfully sold over 2 million shares in An Binh Bank (ABBank).

In December2016, Tan Thuan Industrial Promotion Co Ltd (IPC) and Saigontourist also successfully offloaded their entire holdings in SaigonBank.