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Vietnam: Techcombank earns over $370m from treasury share sale

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Vietnam Technological and Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Techcombank), which raised $922 million via an IPO last month, has announced that it has completed the sale of 64.4 million treasury shares to investors, equivalent to 5.58 per cent of charter capital. The bank told local media that the second treasury share sale was conducted between April 27 and May 7 through the State Securities Committee. At an average transaction price of VND 128,000 ($5.6) apiece, Techcombank is said to have earned VND8.43 trillion ($370.9 million) from the sale of treasury shares. The Hanoi-based bank had earlier completed the first sale of 93.2 million treasury shares at the average price of VND91,000 ($4) to investors, following its plan to sell over 158 million treasury shares to investors announced by chairman Ho Hung Anh at the firm’s annual shareholders’ meeting on March 3. Warburg-backed Techcombank had successfully sold more than 164 million shares, equivalent to 14 per cent of its charter capital, to institutional investors via its IPO. At the final price of VND128,000 ($5.62) per share, the bank mopped up VND21 trillion ($922 million) and was valued at $6.5 billion. At this valuation, Techcombank’s market capitalization is even greater than that of The Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) and Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade (Vietinbank), whose charter capital is three times higher in comparison. Techcombank’s IPO had attracted many foreign investors, including Singapore’s GIC, Dragon Capital and Fidelity Management. Global private equity major Warburg Pincus had in March agreed to invest over $370 million in the bank, marking the largest ever PE investment in Vietnam to date. The transaction brought Warburg’s total commitment in the country to over $1 billion. The 25-year-old Vietnamese bank provides a broad range of banking products and services to more than 5.4 million customers in the country. It is poised to commence trading on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange (HoSE) on June 4.

posted May 15, 2018 by Jonathan Little

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FE CREDIT launches MPlus+, a unique digital credit card delivery solution which allows card holders to commence their cashless journey before the physical card is delivered

Vietnams VPBank Finance Company Limited (FE CREDIT) starts with the MPlus+ Card, a unique digital credit card solution as an extension to the existing range of physical card products focused on category entrants.

Issuing to first-time card users across Vietnam, FE CREDIT has a unique challenge where cardholders in far-flung provinces sometimes receive the physical card almost 15 days post-approval.

To bridge this, FE CREDIT has created this unique digital card solution – ‘MPlus+ Card‘. Securely delivered to the cardholder’s registered mobile immediately upon card approval, MPlus+ enables cardholders to commence their cashless journey for e-commerce and card not present transactions instantly.

Mr. Kalidas Ghose, CEO of FE CREDIT said,

“As a market leader FE CREDIT aims to be the issuer of choice for mass-market customers. MPlus+ Card is another example of this endeavour.”

Mr. Arn Vogels, Country Manager, MasterCard, said,

“We are very excited with the launch of the MPlus+ program, the first digital delivery of a credit card in Vietnam.  The key benefit is that consumers will be able to start making online purchases and enjoy MasterCard offers immediately, whilst the delivery of the card will take several days.”

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                                                          VERIME AND MARITIME BANK

VeriMe is a Singaporean blockchain based verification-as-a-service platform that facilitates other organizations in easy and fast user authentication. The platform relies on the secure, high speed working of blockchain to give its clients a cheaper and unparalleled service, allowing them to concentrate on their core services and let VeriMe take care of the working behind the verification of customers or other services.

VeriME offers two types of services, namely D-KYC and D-Secure. D-KYC is a digital identity verification system that performs Know Your Customer background checks for institutions, requiring no hectic and tedious form filling and document submission. D-Secure is a payment authentication service designed form merchants and banks, allowing them to process customer requests with ease. D-Secure, like the KYC counterpart, does not require face to face meetings or heavy document filing.

Maritime Bank, as one of the largest banks in Vietnam, has a broad base of clients and handles a lot of transactions and new customers in a day. By partnering up with VeriMe, the bank’s user and payment verification system load is transferred to VeriMe. The quick services of VeriMe ensure that no matter how much the processing load from Maritime is, it can deliver the quickest of verification services. Maritime benefits a lot as verification time for its services will drop significantly.

Maritime Bank is not the first Vietnamese bank that has partnered with VeriMe. Previous partnerships with Military Bank and CFC exist, giving their combines 5,000,000 plus users an easy way to verify themselves and the online purchasing done by them.


VeriMe, as a blockchain platform, offers a many-fold increase in speed of verification of individuals and payment services by providing a cost effective, high level of data protection, document free and third party free system. Traditional procedures are slow and tedious, involving a lot of paperwork, inflexible rules, unsecure and money intensive. VeriMe does away with all the clutter and smoothes the experience.

VeriMe has already partnered with more than 30 organization around the world, providing services to more than 300,000 merchants and their respective consumers. The platform is in talks with ASEAN member country partners for expanding in other geographical locations.


The authentication and the verification process of the VeriMe platform is paid for through its its internal token, the VME. It has recently completed a successful token generation event with more than 106,500,000 VME grabbed by early investors. The event saw 1 ETH being traded for 3000 VME.

For more information about the Verification as a Service platform, visit their website

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2018 was a great year for Vietnam’s economy.

The country’s business environment grew tremendously at the start of the year with over 26,000 new enterprises established. In addition to that, the government there highlighted that foreign direct investment (FDI) disbursement reached over US$3.8 billion in the first three months of the year, up 7.2 percent from 2017. Overall, the socialist state’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 7.1 percent year on year in the first six months of 2018 – the fastest growth recorded since 2011.

Among the best performing sectors was manufacturing, with an output growth of 13 percent in the first half of the year. Despite the ongoing trade war between the United States (US) and China, Vietnam’s exports soared. The Communist state recorded export revenues estimated at US$244 billion, an increase of 13.8 percent from the previous year.

Rapid growth

Vietnam’s rapid growth over the past decade is mostly due to the country’s move away from a strict controlled economy to a more liberal system. For the past decade, the country has taken on reforms like deregulation which has seen an influx of private enterprises and foreign investment.

The economic reforms carried out by the Communist Party has made Vietnam one of the region’s fastest growing economies. The World Bank also pointed out in its Global Economic Prospects report that Vietnam is one of six countries in East Asia with real GDP growth of more than six percent.

imageSource: Vietnam Briefing

In 2018, the government announced further reforms to Vietnam’s economy. Earlier in the year, in an effort to make Vietnam more regionally competitive, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc revealed that the country would cut corporate income tax rates from between 20 to 22 percent to 15 to 17 percent. Furthermore, in March, the Ministry of Transport proposed to enhance services in maritime areas and multi-modal transportation by easing business conditions and regulations. If the ministry’s proposal goes through, 314 out of the current 500 regulations will be cut.

Another notable step Vietnam has taken to open up its economy is by signing the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which the World Bank has estimated will increase Vietnam’s GDP by as much as 3.5 percent.

New targets for 2019

The Communist Party’s General Secretary, Nguyen Phu Trong has called for increased efforts to meet a higher growth rate than 2018. “This will be a heavy task, and all of us must do our utmost to realise this target,” he said.

The targets for 2019 will not just revolve around the country’s GDP, the government has also set various socio-economic goals. For example, it has set a target of reducing poverty by one to 1.5 percent. Last year, the target was between one and 1.3 percent, which the government exceeded at 1.5 percent. Other targets include keeping unemployment below four percent and to increase the percentage of the population with health insurance coverage to 88.1 percent.

Poor political reforms

Despite stellar growth, Vietnam’s political reforms have not really matched the reforms seen in its economy. Rights groups have often criticised Vietnam for its treatment of bloggers and dissidents. According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the government there convicted and imprisoned at least 27 rights bloggers and activists under various abusive laws in the first six months of 2018.

“Vietnam seems to be contending for the title of one of Asia’s most repressive governments,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of HRW.

Vietnam has also introduced a new law which came into effect on New Year’s Day which observers say effectively criminalises criticising the government online. The law also allows the government to force internet providers to give them user data when demanded.

Vietnam may be enjoying its highest economic growth in modern times, but reforms are needed to ensure the Communist Party stays accountable. The state has taken great strides to increase the nation’s wealth, but what’s the point of prosperity if its citizens are not free to exercise their rights?

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SWIFT has joined forces with a group of SWIFT gpi banks from Australia, China, Singapore and Thailand to develop a unique cross-border real-time payments service in the Asia Pacific region.

SWIFT has held exploratory talks with banks from the Asia Pacific region, including ANZ, Bangkok Bank, Bank of China, China Construction Bank, China Guangfa Bank, Commonwealth Bank, DBS, ICBC, Kasikornbank, NAB, Siam Commercial Bank, UOB and Westpac about the development of an Asia Pacific cross-border real-time payments system based on gpi. At the workshops SWIFT and the participating banks determined that such a service would have significant benefits that would extend beyond gpi banks and their customers, deep into the domestic markets, eventually affording a complete real-time cross border payments experience for all bank customers in the region.

The group agreed the service should be rolled out in three distinct phases:

  • Phase 1 will see the introduction of a new real-time gpi sub-scheme, to facilitate real-time cross-border payments between gpi banks in the region. Building on the significant success of SWIFT gpi payments, which already significantly reduce cross-border payment times to minutes, will ensure real-time settlement of cross-border payments between signatory gpi banks in the region.
  • Phase 2 will effectively extend the SWIFT gpi rails into existing real-time payment systems within each recipient country, thus ensuring that "inwards and onwards" payments can be settled in real-time in each of the four markets, irrespective of whether the final beneficiaries hold accounts at banks that are connected to SWIFT or that are using gpi. 
  • A third phase would look to link domestic real-time payment systems via SWIFT gpi to facilitate full cross-border real-time payments between their respective customers. This aims to enable both sending and receiving account holders to benefit from a full real-time payments experience -- again independently of whether they hold accounts at banks that are connected to SWIFT or using gpi.

Eddie Haddad, Managing Director of SWIFT Asia Pacific said: "With the widespread adoption of domestic real-time payments systems in the region, a cross-border real-time service is both a natural extension for SWIFT gpi in Asia Pacific and a real game-changer for bank customers. SWIFT is uniquely positioned to help our customers leverage their existing investments in infrastructure, to standardise connectivity across multiple markets and to drive efficiencies in support of cross-border trade, facilitating further integration in the ASEAN region."

Following the initial workshops, SWIFT and participating gpi member banks have begun work on defining a common cross-border real-time scheme that banks can review and test. The design of the new service will build on existing SWIFT gpi service rules to help resolve additional business process frictions in the payments chain. SWIFT has also commenced discussions with the New Payments Platform (NPP) in Australia to enable SWIFT gpi payments to be processed onwards through their newly launched domestic real-time payments system. SWIFT has helped to design, build and deliver the NPP, and is playing a key role in operating the infrastructure for the NPP.

Launched in 2017, gpi already accounts for nearly 10% of SWIFT cross-border payment traffic, and is enabling more than a hundred billion dollars to be transferred across the world rapidly and securely every day. More than 160 banks, including 48 out of the 50 top banks on SWIFT, have signed up to the service, sending hundreds of thousands of payments daily across 350 country corridors - including major corridors such as USA-China, where gpi already accounts for more than 30% of payment traffic.

"SWIFT gpi already reduces cross-border payment times to minutes, even seconds and indeed nearly 50% of gpi payments are already being completed in less than 30 minutes," said Haddad. "This new scheme will both further speed up those payments, and extend the reach of the gpi capability far deeper into domestic markets, driving radical change in the cross-border payments market across the region. We look forward to seeing this work in practice and to more countries, and banks joining the new service."