by Thuy Anh
Mien Tay (Western) Bank this month received approval from the State Bank of Viet Nam to list shares on the HCM City Stock Exchange. It is speeding up its completion of required procedures so that the listing will begin in the first quarter of 2010. This will help improve transparency and, thus, customers confidence, according to a bank representative.
Western Bank is one among several smaller commercial banks targeting either of Viet Nam s two stock exchanges in Ha Noi and HCM City.
The bank s charter capital reaches of VND1 trillion (US$54 million), and the state bank has approved its plan to double the volume.
Earlier Nam Viet Bank (NaviBank), which is capitalised at VND1 trillion, won the same approval from the State Bank to list on the Ha Noi exchange.
Work is also underway for Lien Viet Bank and Quan Doi (Military) Bank, to be listed on the HoSE.
Meanwhile, the Phuong Dong (Oriental) Bank s shareholder meeting recently voted for HoSE listing in 2010. Currently the bank has a charter capital of almost VND1.5 trillion, but the figure will reach VND2 trillion when it completes its new share issue at year-end.
The year 2010 is the deadline for the Dong A (DongA) Bank to list on the HoSE, although a general plan for the move was decided two years ago.
These banks listing will facilitate their ability to raise funds. It is required by the Government that all commercial banks have charter capital of no less than VND3 trillion at the end of 2010. It is not easy for several small, unlisted banks to issue shares at the face-value price.
Big banks sitting on the boards include Sacombank (STB), Asia Commercial Bank (ACB), Vietcombank (VCB), Vietinbank (CTG), Eximbank (EIB) and Sai Gon-Ha Noi Bank (SHB).
Mobile phone network operators in Viet Nam who would like to tap the new 3G (third generation) market have launched various services. But the other side of the coin is that their quality is still an open question.
MobiFone is the latest one offering the services, which include the Video Call, Mobile Internet, Mobile TV and Fast Connect.
Mobifone 3G subscribers for the Mobile TV service, for example, can watch 32 TV channels including VTV1, VTV3, Cartoon Network, HBO, Star Movies and Fashion TV. They can also access video-on-demand and music-on-demand.
The company hopes to provide 3G coverage to almost 100 per cent of urban cities and provinces.
In the next three years, 3G will cover suburban areas, according to director Le Ngoc Minh. To stimulate demand for 3G services, Mobifone will until March 15 charge Video Call services at the price of normal calls and reduce by 50 per cent other 3G package costs, such as Mobile Internet and Mobile TV.
Fast Connect s FC2 package will be free of charge until June 30. Under its agreement with more than 50 3G providers in the world, the company can now provide 3G international roaming service to customers.
Previously Vinaphone had entered the market with six service packages, including mobile internet. TV and video call. It expected initially to serve 3 million users in 13 major cities and provinces.
Viettel is providing 3G services, including video call, mobile internet, mobile TV, websurf and game online, to its 2G subscribers on a trial basis from December 4-31, with first days covering HCM City. The coverage has expanded to 38 cities and provinces.
Meanwhile EVN Telecom plans to launch its 3G services next April, initially targeting 22 per cent of the country s territory where 46 per cent of the population live.
Users, however, have complained about the unstable status of the new 3G networks even in the southern hub, the HCM City.
A user told Viet Nam News that he was in the city s District 3 several days ago, but had received no signals for a 3G network. Several other subscribers complained about weak signals. VNS