Sacombank’s power transferred to outsiders

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Sacombank’s power transferred to outsiders

The transfer of power in the Ho Chi Minh City-based Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Joint Stock Bank, better known as Sacombank, has been materialized with the introduction of a new board.

sacombank Eximbank chairman Le Hung Dung (1st, left),and Sacombank chairman Dang Van Thanh (2nd, left), shake hands with one another at the meeting. Photo: Tuoi Tre

The transfer of power in the Ho Chi Minh City-based Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Joint Stock Bank , better known as Sacombank, has been materialized with the introduction of a new board.

Almost all the power in Sacombank has been transferred to new shareholders group, ending a year-long acquisition.

At the recent shareholders’ meeting of Sacombank, the new board retained only two Sacombank former members, Dang Van Thanh and his son, Dang Hong Anh, and eight additional newly elected members.

The new 10-member board of Sacombank has four members from the Southern Commercial Joint Stock Bank, two members from the Vietnam Export-Import Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Eximbank), and an independent member.

Four members from Southern Bank are Tram Be, former deputy chairman, Be’s sonTram Khai Hoa - President of Southern Bank Securities Co (PNS), Phan Huy Khang, former Southern Bank CEO, and Duong Hoang Quynh Nhu, former Southern Bank vice CEO.

Two other members from Eximbank are Pham Huu Phu, chairman of Eximbank property arm (EximLand), and Nguyen Mien Tuan - General Director of Vietnam Dragon Securities Co.

Another member is Tran Xuan Huy, general director of Sacombank.

The independent member is Kieu Huu Dung, former Head of Banking Department of the State Bank of Vietnam .

Earlier, five former members of the Sacombank board have been approved for resignation.

Shareholders' frets

Though most of the papers presented at the meeting, including reports on eight additional newly elected board members, have been passed with almost absolute rates, many shareholders have expressed concerns about Sacombank's future.

A shareholder said that the new board had many new members from Southern Bank, while the performance of the bank in the past was not good enough.

Regarding the shareholder’s question whether the new members could manage a big bank at such a scale like Sacombank, Le Hung Dung, Eximbank Chairman, said good administration not only depend on the board members, but also on supporting departments and the inspection committee.

Dung stressed that the business results in 2012 will remain good as before, even better.

"The question can be answered in the following year, after we attend the annual shareholders meeting in 2013,” he said.

A shareholder asked if Sacombank and Southern Bank will merge with one another after the leaders of the latter joined Sacombank board.

A representative group of major shareholders said that the merger and acquisition (M&A) trend will not only occur at just banks but all businesses, as it is a general trend of the economy.

Regarding Sacombank case, the scenario has also been listed in its operational plan during the period 2012-2015.

However, even when the merger take place, the leaders of the 2 banks will ensure the interests and the merger must be approved by a highest proportion of shareholders.

"We cannot rule out, it is not necessarily Southern Bank, or it could be Eximbank, but we cannot tell the future," said the representative, adding that there is no merger plan in 2012.

Sacombank’s incomplete picture

Regarding the loss of Sacombank Securities Co (SBS), Le Hung Dung said the initial recognition of the fact due to market fluctuations, and the board needs additional time to determine the causes.

The meeting, a major shareholder group will appoint one member, the head of internal audit of Eximbank, to Sacombank to keep a relatively independent role in the objective checkup in Sacombank .

Meanwhile, Dang Van Thanh, chairman of Sacombank, admitted the loss of SBS had made a incomplete picture of Sacombank.

On behalf of the incumbent board, Mr Thanh expressed his apologies to shareholders for the losses in SBS, adding that it had a bad impact to the brand and operations of Sacombank.

"Our issue has been seen as serious lessons learned in the work of governance," Thanh said.

Initially, this group of shareholders will accept the temporary losses of SBS is caused by objective reasons, but the losses due to human errors, would be clarified and reported to shareholders at the 2013 meeting.

The group of shareholders have also discuss and come to the agreement to launch overall audits at some units of Sacombank, including SBS.

Accepting the game’s rules

Talking to media during the break, Dang Van Thanh said that once joining the stock market, all the participants have to accept the game’s rules.

Therefore, the participation of some new members in the new Sacombank board is very normal.

“By this time I am still the chairman of Sacombank.”

Regarding administration process, Sacombank is one of the pioneers in inviting foreign shareholders.

Sacombank now has many large foreign shareholders, such as IFC, ANZ, Dragon Capital, so it has obtained a professional working methods with the support of those foreign shareholders.

Any shareholder who participating in the bank will also work in a spirit likes that, focusing on transparency and professionalism.

Many entrepreneurs have said listing is extensive participating in the global economy, like sailing into the sea. So, the old sailors can be replaced by the new ones, and such a story is very ordinary.

Regarding small shareholders’ Thanh think this incident should be considered as a normal development process of the bank.

“I think nearly 800 shareholders attending the meeting today will sympathize and find that the market economy is like that, there is nothing to be worried about, and we have to look ahead.”

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