Techcombank kicks off Vietnam's biggest IPO that aims to raise $922 million

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Vietnam Technological and Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Techcombank) launched on Friday the nation’s biggest IPO that aims to raise as much as $922 million and has attracted global funds as cornerstone investors, a term sheet of the deal showed.

Equity issues are booming in the Southeast Asian nation as it speeds up a privatization drive. Strong interest from foreign investors and local funds has pushed up the benchmark index .VNI by 19 percent so far this year, making it one of Asia's best performers after rising nearly 50 percent last year.

Techcombank, Vietnam’s largest private sector bank, is offering shares in a price range of 120,000-128,000 Vietnamese dong per share ($5.27-$5.62) that will raise between $864 million to $922 million, according to the term sheet seen by Reuters.

Singapore wealth fund GIC [GIC.UL], Fidelity Management and Research and Dragon Capital are among funds coming in as cornerstone investors, the term sheet showed.

Techcombank's IPO will be bigger than Warburg Pincus-backed Vincom Retail's VRE.HM IPO last year, which raised about $700 million.

Other big IPOs are on the anvil. In February, Reuters cited sources as saying Vingroup JSC VIC.HM, Vietnam's biggest property developer, had picked foreign banks for a planned $1 billion listing of its residential property business.

Techcombank’s IPO, which will be listed in Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, is expected to value the bank at about $6.1 billion to $6.5 billion, ranking it among the 10 biggest listed local companies.

Techcombank declined to comment on the equity offering.

The lender got a boost last month when Warburg Pincus agreed to invest more than $370 million in the bank, in the largest ever private equity investment in the Southeast Asian nation.

A source with knowledge of the transaction said that demand from cornerstone investors was so strong that about 76 percent of the IPO was being allocated to such investors, much higher than in other IPOs.

He said investors were keen to put money in one of the fastest growing banks in Southeast Asia while the country’s strong economic growth had also attracted a range of international investors.

“Techcombank is focused on retail and fee income - this is a story that long-only funds are keen to play,” said the source on condition of anonymity.

The 25-year-old bank provides a broad range of banking products and services to more than 5.4 million customers in Vietnam with an extensive network of 315 branches across the country.

Books for the IPO will close on April 23 and Techcombank is expected to list on June 4.

Morgan Stanley, Viet Capital Securities and Deutsche Bank are the joint global coordinators for the issue.

Reporting by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman