HANOI Oct 29 The State Bank of Vietnam has
approved the merger of two unlisted lenders, paving the way for
the nation's third bank combination since the government started
reforming the banking system in 2011, a state-run newspaper said
Vietnam's banking system has been grappling with bad debt at
8.6 percent of total lending as of the end of March, the highest
level in Southeast Asia, after years of over-exposure to the
real estate sector and loose supervision of lenders.
The two unlisted banks, Ho Chi Minh City Development Bank or
HD Bank, and Dai A Bank, neither of which has foreign strategic
partners, will decide any merger-related issues on their own,
the Dau Tu Chung Khoan newspaper said in an online report,
quoting To Duy Lam, director of the central bank's branch in Ho
Chi Minh City.
"Dai A Bank and HD Bank are both well-operating lenders and
they are not among the nine banks forced to restructure by the
government and the central bank," Lam was quoted as saying.
Senior officials of the two banks could not be reached for
Ho Chi Minh City-based HD Bank has total assets of 50
trillion dong ($2.4 billion), while Dai A Bank, based in the
southern province of Dong Nai, has assets worth an estimated
19.8 trillion dong, according to Thomson Reuters data.
The previous two mergers included one in late 2011 when
three Ho Chi Minh City-based lenders were merged to form the
Saigon Commercial Bank. The second was in August
this year when Habubank was taken over by Saigon-Hanoi Bank
after Habubank's non-performing loans hit more than 16
percent as a result of its support for state-run shipbuilder
Vinashin and aquaproduct exporter Binh An Co.
(Reporting by Ngo Thi Ngoc Chau; Editing by Matt Driskill)