SINGAPORE, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 29th August, 2016) : Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC will buy a 7.7 percent stake in Vietnam's biggest bank, both companies said in a joint statement on Monday. GIC has signed a memorandum of agreement to buy 305.8 million new shares of Vietcombank, the fund's first direct investment in a Vietnamese lender. The deal is estimated to be worth some $400 million in a company worth $6.9 billion, Bloomberg news said.
Vietcombank is Vietnam's largest lender by market capitalisation. "This investment reflects our confidence in Vietnam's long-term growth potential," said Amit Kunal, GIC head of direct investments group for Southeast Asia, private equity and infrastructure. "GIC's strong reputation and experience will provide Vietcombank the support it needs to achieve its financial and business goals, both locally and internationally," said Vietcombank chairman Nghiem Xuan Thanh.
The deal is pending regulatory approval and is expected to be completed by end of the year. GIC last month reported a substantial dip in returns and warned of difficult global investment conditions in the next decade. Formerly known as the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, GIC manages Singapore's foreign reserves with a focus on long-term performance. It does not disclose the exact value of its portfolio, saying only that it has "well over US$100 billion of assets" in more than 40 countries, including real estate, equities and fixed-income investments. The US-based Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute says GIC has $344 billion of assets under management, making it the world's eighth largest.