HANOI: Vietinbank and PG Bank did not finalise procedures to merge in 2015 as planned, according to Vietinbank’s chairman Nguyen Van Thang.
Thang attributed the delay to several reasons including hindrance in administrative procedures. However, he said, the merger will have to be completed in the first quarter this year.
The merger will increase Vietinbank’s total assets by VND25 trillion (US$1.1 billion) to VND685 trillion ($30.4 billion) and its charter capital by VND3 trillion ($133 million) to more than VND40 trillion ($1.7 billion).
Besides, with a comprehensive co-operation agreement with Petrolimex – PG Bank’s strategic shareholder – Vietinbank also expected to develop its consumer market, thanks to Petrolimex’s stable customer base.
Besides the merger with PG Bank, the State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV), in the first half of last year, also appointed Vietinbank to manage GP Bank and Ocean Bank, which it put under special control after acquiring 100 per cent of their stakes due to their weak performance and violations. According to Thang, the financial status of GP Bank and Ocean Bank has improved significantly.
In contrast to concerns that depositors would withdraw their deposits from the two banks, Ocean Bank’s capital mobilisation last year surged 17 per cent and the rise in GP Bank was 3 per cent.
Under the Vietinbank’s management, the retrieval of non-performing loans of Ocean Bank and GP Bank was also positive. Ocean Bank last year retrieved VND5 trillion ($219 million) and made a profit. GP Bank has so far not released its financial report as it was restructured later than Ocean Bank.
The central bank has also reduced its special control on Ocean Bank and GP Bank thanks to the improving liquidity and business performance of the banks.
SBV Chief Inspector Nguyen Huu Nghia said after the acquisition, that the commercial banks did not need special loans from the central bank to pay depositors.
Nghia said the performance of the banks in general had so far been stable and had improved, especially in terms of their liquidity. The banks’ liquidity reserves by October last year reached roughly VND10 trillion ($444 million) thanks to a rise in new deposits.
The significant liquidity reserve status was one of the causes that allowed the SBV to start reducing its special supervision of the banks, Nghia said, and added that SBV would allow the commercial banks to resume their lending in several safe sectors.
According to the SBV, besides the improvement in corporate governance, NPLs and non-profitable assets of the banks have also been initially handled and retrieved.
Thang affirmed that Vietinbank would continuously implement drastic restructuring measures in a move to improve the performance of ailing banks.