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Nova Group backs out of Sacombank restructuring scheme

On 6 April 2017, a senior executive of Nova Group confirmed to VnExpress that the Group officially withdrew from the restructuring scheme of Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Sacombank) after one year of researching investment opportunities in a new sector being banking and finance.

Previously, the multidisciplinary group sent a letter to the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) to express it interest in Sacombank restructuring scheme and proposed to acquire a 20% stake of this credit institution. At that time, Nova Group wished to participate in Sacombank restructuring as it aimed at the potential of the bank's retail banking system as well as the opportunity to settle real estate bad debts.

Sacombank is one of Vietnam’s top 5 largest joint stock banks. Photo by reporter

However, explaining for the withdrawal in April 2017, the executive said that conducting business in banking sector needs a number of specific mechanisms and that bad debt settlement requires a lot of time. Therefore, Sacombank’s current conditions does not meet the Group’s investment requirements at this time.

The executive of Nova Group added that despite withdrawing from Sacombank restructuring scheme, the Group is still keen on hunting for parallel investment opportunities in both real estate and banking sectors if any good chance comes. Accordingly, the firm is willing to allocate capital from its parent company, Nova Group, to invest in banking and finance sector without affecting its real-estate subsidiary, Novaland.

 

Previously, the banking market also paid special attention to the information that a group of local and foreign shareholders, including Evercore Group (a New York-based investment banking company), Redsun Capital Limited (a M&A consulting firm) and Dang Van Thanh, Chairman of Thanh Thanh Cong Group (TTC) proposed to the State Bank of Vietnam to participate in Sacombank restructuring. Accordingly, the group said to likely strengthen Sacombank’s financial capacity by increasing the bank’s charter capital by VND20,600 billion.

As a result, Sacombank will receive a new fund to fundamentally improve operational safety indicators. Then a debt settlement committee will be established, focusing on settling bad debt and recovering outstanding assets. In the next step, the bank will use the available income sources to make provisions for bad debt.

 

When being asked about the above information, a senior executive of Sacombank said to have no clear information and refused to comment on the related issues.

 

Earlier this year, Chairman Kieu Huu Dung shared with VnExpress that thanks to Sacombank’s good performance, the bank received multiple proposals from foreign investors. One investor is even willing to invest USD1 billion in Sacombank and officially expressed its interest to the State Bank of Vietnam. In addition, local private enterprises and large corporations also wish to acquire 20% stake of Sacombank. They are willing to purchase at high consideration.

According to Dung, without participation of new investors, it may take 5-6 years to restructure the “post-Southern Bank merger” Sacombank, but it will be faster if new investors involve.

 

"Sacombank is currently awaiting the scheme approval to officially start the restructuring process as well as to better disclose information to shareholders, investors and customers," he said.

Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Bank officially merged with Southern Bank in October 2015. After the merger, Sacombank enters the Top 5 biggest banks in Vietnam with total assets of approximately VND290,900 billion and charter capital of VND18,853 billion.

As of 31 December 2016, total assets of the bank hit over VND330,000 billion, up 13.6% y-o-y, owners’ equity was more than VND22,000 billion. Total deposits reached approximately VND300,000 billion, of which deposits from the market was VND290,000 billion (up 11.6% y-o-y). In addition, outstanding loans to customers hit over VND193,000 billion, up 7% y-o-y. Particularly, pre-tax profit, due to handling post-merger outstanding issues, achieved VND 300 billion only.

Vu Le – Le Chi (DauTuOnline)

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