It’s time to for the state to let VND0 banks go: economists
Tran Du Lich, a respected economist, said on Dau Tu that buying weak banks at zero dong was just a temporary solution the central bank had to use to save the banks and avoid the collapse of other banks in a domino effect, but it must not be a long-term solution applied on a large scale.
He believes that the central bank has done what it can do to ensure the normal operation of the banking system, and it is now the time for it to leave the zero-dong banks.
After doing so, investors, including foreigners, would be able to buy stakes of the banks, which would help accelerate the restructuring process.
The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has been urged to quit zero-dong banks and let commercial banks undergo restructuring themselves.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at a conference in late 2016 said that ADB (Asian Development Bank) and a Vietnamese private partner expressed their willingness to buy a zero dong bank.
The bank also promised to introduce other partners which could help Vietnam in the process of dealing with bad debts and weak banks.
“We need to look at the situation realistically. Taking over the three zero-dong banks was just a temporary action to protect them in emergency from getting collapsed which may have bad effects on the whole banking system. Meanwhile, we need a solution that can help solve the problems to the very root,” he said.
The State Bank has bought three banks – Ocean Bank, CB Bank and GP Bank – at zero dong so far.
CB Bank was the first bank which was transferred to the State Bank on February 2, 2015. The predecessor of CB Bank was Trust Bank, which was then listed among nine weak banks which were put under the special control from the watchdog agency.
TrustBank was then reported as incurring an accumulative loss of VND8.765 trillion and had stockholder equity of minus (-) VND5.711 trillion.
By the end of 2013, the figures had risen to VND11.348 trillion and minus (-) VND8.923 trillion.
The price of zero dong was set up after independent researchers said CB Bank’s real value was minus (-) VND80,000 per share.
Ocean Bank became the second zero-dong bank on April 25, 2015, though the big problems were first discovered at the bank in late 2011.
SBV bought GP Bank at zero dong on July 7, 2015. The bank’s accumulative loss had reached VND12.280 trillion by April 2015.
Nguyen Tri Hieu, a banking expert, thinks the central bank should think of bringing weak banks into bankruptcy instead of buying them at zero dong if the banks are in poor condition.
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