Shareholder activism tops banks' AGM agendas

10:49 | 30/03/2018
Over the past three years, the manipulation of voting rights or shareholder activism among leaders in the board of directors in Vietnam-based commercial banks was among the most debatable issues brought up at the banks' annual general meetings (AGM).
shareholder activism tops banks agm agendas
AGMs aimed at appointing new leaders of banks as to create a fair voting environment

On April 20, Sacombank (HSX: STB scheduled to hold its AGM to evaluate the 2017 financial year. The AGM will appoint two members of the bank's board of directors (BoD) for the term 2017-2021, one of whom would be an outside director.

Previously, Kieu Huu Dung, permanent vice president of the BoD at Sacombank, handed in his resignation due to personal reasons, which was later approved by the bank's BoD. Notably, Dung was elected as a member of the bank's BoD for the term of 2017-2021, leaving three years befire his term would have ended.

As announced by Sacombank, the proposal of dismissing Kieu Huu Dung as a permanent member of the BoD would be one of the main subject matters at the upcoming AGM. In particular, Dung was reported to own at least 300,000 STB shares, equal to 0.02 per cent of the bank’s charter capital.

Over the past several years, Duong Cong Minh, chairman of BoD at Sacombank, was reported to be gathering STB stocks, signalling an attempt to raise his voting rights at the shareholders' meeting in late April.

To date, the bank's BoD consists of six members, five permanent and one independent.

On April 27, Eximbank will also host its AGM, mainly aiming at appointing two of the current four candidates as the next permanent members of the bank's BoD. To date, the BoD of Eximbank comprises of nine members, one president, two vice presidents, and six permanent members.

Since 2015, Eximbank’s top personnel has been a "hot issue" among the bank's shareholders and employees. In addition, the bank failed to host multiple AGMs as the shareholders could never come to a unanimous decision.

As of March 29, the commercial bank still has not finalised its financial statement to prepare for the approaching AGM in late April. In 2017, the bank secured VD1 trillion ($43.8 million) in pre-tax profit, with a declining rate of non-performing loans. In early 2018, the total value of the bank's divestiture at Sacombank climbed up to $500 billion.

On March 28, LienVietPostBank held its 2018 AGM, expecting a change of members in its BoD and Board of Supervisors (BOS) for the term 2018-2023. Additionally, the AGM was expected to elect eight new permanent members for the BoD and three members of the BOS. Previously, Nguyen Duc Huong, president of the bank's BoD disclosed his intention of taking a step back from his current position, leaving quite a hot spot for the next head of the bank's BoD.

Eventually, Nguyen Dinh Thang, former vice president of the bank's BOD, was elected as the new chairman of LienVietPostBank's BOD with nearly 800 million "for" votes from shareholders.

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By Van Linh

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