More and more ads on bank share sales have appeared on OTC share trading websites these days.

An investor on April 1 offered 50,000 shares of a bank in G12 group at a surprisingly low price level of VND2,500 per share. He accepted shares either in bulk or small lots.

Observers said many investors are selling bank shares at low prices. VCBank shares are now offered at VND5,500 per share, LVBank VND5,500, ABBank VND4,100, OCB VND5,000. The sellers offer flexible sale methods and negotiable prices.

Bank shares were once called ‘the King of shares’ as they were hunted by investors, who believed in the high profitability of the banking sector. However, the golden time of ‘the King’ is over.

Not only individual but institutional shareholders are also rushing to sell bank shares as they want to withdraw the investment they made in commercial banks so as to gather strength in their core business fields.

Many investors, big and small, now are offering to sell bank stakes, but cannot find buyers even though the selling shares are lower than face value. 

Investors are now expecting a large-scale sale campaign to be launched by institutional investors in the time to come in which hundreds of billions of dong worth of shares would be offered.

The bank share supply sources would also come from credit institutions which have been told to withdraw capital from other banks to settle cross-ownership status. Under a new regulation, commercial banks can only hold shares of no more than two other credit institutions.

Vietcombank is reported as holding shares in four other banks and one finance company. Eximbank is also holding shares of four other institutions. VietinBank now holds 10.4 percent of SaigonBank’s shares, while ABBank has 8.4 percent of EVN Finance’s stake.

Since the supply is plentiful, it is not easy to find buyers now. The Debt & Asset Trading Company (DATC) late last year offered OCB and SCB shares at below VND5,000 per share, but the shares did not sell.

Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) still cannot divest itself of tens of millions of ABBank’s shares. Meanwhile, Saigontourist still has 10.7 million Saigonbank’s shares though it offered to sell the stake at below face value.

Even the most prestigious commercial banks have also seen prices decreasing recently. VCB shares of Vietcombank were traded at over VND50,000 per share in the past, but they are now traded at VND40,000 only. BID shares of BIDV are now traded at VND16,000 per share, much lower than the highest peak of VND30,000.

Meanwhile, ABBank, LVB, BVBank, Techcombank, SCB, OCB, VABank and TPBank shares are priced at less than VND10,000 per share on the OTC market.

(Source: VNN)