HANOI, April 8 (Xinhua) -- Foreign financial institutions were eyeing up poorly-performing Vietnamese banks after being given the green light to acquire stakes in local institutions, local media reported on Monday.
The Vietnamese government wants to speed up the restructuring of ailing banks while small banks also have to increase capital to meet the central bank's Basel II regulations by 2020, daily newspaper Vietnam News quoted local banking experts as saying.
Singapore-based Clermont Group and Japan-based J Trust Corp have recently expressed an interest in investing in Vietnamese banks. J Trust wants to acquire a stake in the Construction Bank, one of three weakest state-owned banks under the State Bank of Vietnam, the country's central bank.
Although the Vietnamese government has no plans to establish more wholly foreign-owned banks in the country, it encourages foreign investors to participate in restructuring weak banks and then become an entity holding 100 percent of capital in line with domestic legal regulations, said local experts.
"The Vietnamese financial market holds a lot of potentials but license applications to establish a bank are very difficult, so purchasing shares in local banks or acquiring a 100 percent stake in ailing institutions are the best options for foreign investors," said banking expert Nguyen Tri Hieu.