Commonwealth Bank Acquires 20% of Vietnam Bank

Submitted by Share Trading on 22 April, 2010 - 05:59

Commonwealth Bank (CBA) has bought 15 percent of Vietnam International Bank (VIB) with the aim of acquiring up to 20 percent more depending upon regulatory approval. Australian Banks are seeking growth opportunities in Asia with NAB seeking a stake in Korea Exchange Bank.

CBA head of international financial services Simon Blair has noted that Australia boasts the second-largest Vietnamese population outside Vietnam, with half of those people banking with CBA. ""With a young population of 87 million, a rapid uptake of Internet and mobile phone technologies and only around 15 percent of the population currently using banking services, we expect the demand for financial services in Vietnam to increase significantly in the coming years, he said.

Commonwealth Bank is Australia's second largest lender, and VIB, is a Hanoi based bank which is ninth largest in Vietnam. VIB was valued at $235.2 million, based on its share price of around 18,500 dong ($0.98) in the unofficial, unregulated market.

Last year both banks: VIB and CBA engaged in a joint technical assistance program to identify skills gaps and opportunities in critical business areas for the Vietnamese bank including retail banking, risk management, human resources, IT, treasury and finance. As part of the strategic partnership, they will investigate other business opportunities.