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Sacombank’s big shareholders found buying shares underhand   2012-06-15 - C. V

The appearance of three big shareholders at Sacombank exceedingly astonished the bank’s shareholders and the public, who were not informed about the share purchases of the “big guys.”



On June 8, 2012, the State Securities Commission (SSC) released a decision on imposing fines on three investors, who quietly bought Sacombank’s shares without any notice. The three investors were the Asia Financial Investment Company, Tran Phat Minh, President of Kien Long Bank, and the Saigon Exim Investment Company.

The three investors began collecting Sacombank’s shares from early January 2012 to early March 2012, during which they successfully purchased 65.6 million shares, which helped them become the big shareholders at Sacombank. With the big amount of shares, the investors held more than five percent of the chartered capital of Sacombank.

Tran Phat Minh was then found as becoming the biggest individual shareholder of the bank, according to VnExpress.

The investors who were discovered as trading shares underhand were imposed the fine of 60 million dong for each.

Just five days later, the two big shareholders of Sacombank – Tran Phat Minh and the financial investment company – were found as selling 1.8 million shares, also without any notice.

The Asia Financial Investment Company reportedly sold 900,000 shares, while Minh sold 876,450 shares. After the sales, the two above said investors have become no more the big shareholders at Sacombank.

The behavior of selling stakes underhand, according to the Decree 85/2010, would bear the fine of 50 million dong at maximum.

The story about the takeover of Sacombank, one of the biggest commercial banks in Vietnam has become a hottest topic in the financial investment community. Sacombank, which had been put under the control of Dang Van Thanh, the bank’s President, one of the top 20 Vietnamese stock millionaires, and his family members for a long time, now has many other big shareholders.

The noteworthy thing is that the shareholders who have turned up recently, are the influential names in the banking sector, who relate to Eximbank, Southern Bank and Kien Long Bank.

The discovery that three shareholders quietly collected shares to become big shareholders of Sacombank has stirred up the public. Three abnormal things have been found in the case, according to Dau tu chung khoan.

First, the share collection of the three shareholders was carried out prior to March 1. All the three became big shareholders just after one trade affair. However, SSC only released the punishment decision on the shareholders three months later, on June 8.

The problem is that the decision was only made by SSC after the plan of a group of shareholders, including Eximbank, to takeover Sacombank, was completed.

Second, the information about the plan to takeover Sacombank undertaken by the group of shareholders appeared on local newspapers on February 29, 2012, when Eximbank’s President announced that he had gathered 51 percent of Sacombank’s shares, including the mandated shares. At that time, a question was raised that who joined the alliance which planned to take over Sacombank.

SSC then sent dispatches to both Eximbank and Sacombank, requesting to report the case. However, no further information had been released by the watchdog agency until the takeover affair came to an end.

Third, a worry has been raised that bosses may lose their businesses unexpectedly in the context of the lack of transparency in share trade transactions. Meanwhile, the investors who buy shares underhand in the plans to take over businesses only have to bear the fine of tens of millions of dong.

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