Dinh La Thang recalls directions on capital contribution to OceanBank

18:50 | 20/03/2018
At the court trial, Dinh La Thang claimed that he followed procedures and was approved by the prime minister of the time to contribute VND800 billion ($35.3 million) to OceanBank.
dinh la thang recalls directions on capital contribution to oceanbank
Dinh La Thang at the second trial at the Hanoi's People's Court

The indictment said Thang independently made the decision to purchase a 20 per cent stake in OceanBank in 2008 without discussion with other board members or approval from the then prime minister. But Thang claimed that he was following the rules.

He said that Vietnam's then prime minister backed the investment that resulted in $35 million in losses to state-owned PetroVietnam.

Dinh La Thang said at the time there were no regulations requiring him to consult board members, but he had nonetheless discussed the plan with other PetroVietnam executives for months and got their support.

He also said, the acquisition was approved by the prime minister. Thang said that after ten years, he could not remember all the details, but he remembers having received directions.

"In fact, the group conducted the capital contribution in line with regulations. Three months after receiving approval from the prime minister, leaders of PetroVietnam poured money into OceanBank. All the decisions of this investment were approved by the prime minister," said Thang.

PetroVietnam had researched various other banks before making the investment into OceanBank. PetroVietnam assessed that the investment into OceanBank would be profitable.

"In 2010, PetroVietnam was paid dividend of up to 16 per cent," Thang added.

Related to the third capital contribution, Thang said that he authorised defendant Nguyen Xuan Thang to operate the business when he went abroad for nearly ten days. At this time, Nguyen Xuan Thang signed the resolution to approve pouring VND100 billion ($4.4 million) into OceanBank, maintaining the contribution rate of 20 per cent.

Dinh La Thang said that he did not know of this, while Nguyen Xuan Thang said he reported it to chairman Thang upon his return.

Nguyen Xuan Son, PetroVietnam's former deputy general director, is one of the six other defendants in this case. Son told the court that the investment decision was made because OceanBank was running a profitable business.

He said he signed two documents relevant to capital contribution. The group did not seek the approval of the prime minister for the third contribution because the two transactions before had been okayed and the third transaction was a lot less in value.

PetroVietnam’s investment in OceanBank took place during Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, who was in office between 2006 and 2016.

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Dinh La Thang served as chairman of PetroVietnam’s Board of Directors between 2006 and 2011, before he was appointed as Minister of Transport in Dung’s cabinet and then Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee.

He was sentenced to 13 years in jail two months ago for economic mismanagement which caused million-dollar losses at a construction subsidiary of PetroVietnam.

In this second trial, Dinh La Thang is facing charges of “deliberately violating state regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences” which carries a sentence of 10-20 years in jail.

By Nguyen Huong

Based on MasterCMS Ultimate Edition Ver 2.8 2018