​Vietnam's VPBank to list on Aug 17, seeks $2.3 bln market value

VPBank will list 1.33 billion shares with a reference price of VND39,000 (US$1.72) each

A customer withdraws money at a VPBank counter. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Vietnam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank (VPBank) will list its shares on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange on August 17 with an expected market value of US$2.3 billion, the bank said on Friday.

VPBank will list 1.33 billion shares with a reference price of VND39,000 ($1.72) each, likely giving it a VND51.97 trillion ($2.29 billion) market value, which would be the ninth biggest on the exchange.

In Vietnam, an IPO and listing are separate processes. Foreign institutional investors currently hold 22.34 percent of VPBank, according to the lender. Foreigners are allowed to own a maximum of 30 percent in a Vietnamese bank.

VPBank chairman Ngo Chi Dung owns about five percent of the bank, while his mother and wife own another 9.6 percent combined.

VPBank's net profit surged 64.2 percent in 2016 to VND3.9 trillion ($171.58 million), while the lender's first-half bottom line jumped 108 percent from the same period last year to VND2.6 trillion ($114.39 million), the bank's financial statements showed.

"This is a fair price as VPBank is one of Vietnam's top lenders in the retail banking sector, which has room to increase given Vietnam's average income growth of 6-10 percent annually," said Nguyen The Minh, a deputy research director at Saigon Securities Incorp.

"The downside is that VPBank focuses too much on retail banking; so if the risk management system of VPBank is not good enough, it will face high risks of dealing with non-performing loans," Minh said.

VPBank said its bad debts were 2.81 percent of its total loans as on June 30, falling slightly from the 2.91 percent at the end of last year. Viet Capital Securities expects VPBank's bad debt ratio in 2017 and 2018 at 3.1 percent.

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