Foreign, domestic shareholders fight over control at Eximbank

10:02 | 02/05/2016
Domestic shareholders at Vietnam Export Import Bank (Eximbank) refused to show up at the annual shareholders’ meeting on April 29 possibly to protest foreign shareholders’ pushing them out of the Board of Directors.

Eximbank failed to hold the annual shareholders’ meeting on April 29 as the number of participants did not meet the minimum requirement of 65 per cent voting stake as per Eximbank’s charter. As of 10am on April 29 the number of shareholders at the meeting was 50.19 per cent. 

Ngo Thanh Tung, representative of Eximbank’s Board of Directors, said that there were two groups of shareholders holding the respective stake of 11.82 per cent and 10.42 per cent, a total 22.24 per cent, who didn’t register to join the shareholders’ meeting even though the bank was proposing increasing the number of members in the Board of Directors.

Tung did not mention another 27.57 per cent stakeholders who did not register to join.

Clause VII of the bank’s rule on nominating, running for and voting for members of the Board of Directors and the internal audit and control committee of Eximbank for the 2016-2020 term ratified at the extraordinary shareholders’ meeting of Eximbank on December 16, 2015 said, “In case the number of members of the Board of Directors is lower than the planned number, but not lower than two thirds of the number needed to be voted into the board, and with the correct makeup as agreed on beforehand then the shareholders’ meeting will ratify this new board and there’s no need to vote to add more members right in this meeting. The bank will add members in the next nearest meeting.”

However according to the report of the April 29 meeting, although two groups of shareholders nominated members to the Board of Directors, the board did not put them up for voting. The board now has nine members and is short of two. This affects the right of those groups.

Many shareholders who did not join the meeting may have done so to show their disagreement. Eximbank’s big foreign shareholders including Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Mirae Asset Exim Investment and VoF Investment Limited, a fund under VinaCapital, did not protest the board’s decision to not add members. Foreign shareholders currently hold a 27.76 per cent stake of the bank. They even proposed reducing the number of members in the board from 11 to 9 after they had enough people in the board to prevent other groups of shareholders to have people in the board.

According to Eximbank’s audited financial statement, in 2015 the bank earned net profit of VND40 billion ($1.79 million), down 88 per cent from 2014.

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By By Ha Duy

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