Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Vietnam's SeABank says 2008 net profit rises 7.4 pct

HANOI, April 28 (Reuters) - Vietnam's SeABank, 15 percent owned by France's Societe Generale (SOGN.PA), said on Tuesday its net profit last year rose 7.4 percent to 321 billion dong ($18 million) despite losses from currency trading and securities.

The unlisted Hanoi-based SeABank, or Southeast Asia Bank, was able to record a profit thanks to a surge in fees from services and commissions last year to 114.37 billion dong, from 10.8 billion dong in 2007, its statement of audited results said.

Losses from foreign exchange trading stood at nearly 17 billion dong last year after a profit of 1.4 billion dong in 2007 and investment in securities incurred losses of 77.5 billion dong against a gain of 27.7 billion dong in 2007.

Vietnam's stock market .VNI lost 66 percent in 2008 after a rise of 23 percent the previous year.

SeABank said its total assets last year fell 14.4 percent to 22.47 billion dong after loans dropped 31.3 percent to 7.58 trillion dong.

Vietnam's banking sector reported credit growth of around 22 percent last year after a surge of 54 percent in 2007. The State Bank of Vietnam has projected credit growth this year at between 21 and 23 percent. ($1=17,760 dong) (Reporting by Ho Binh Minh; Editing by Alan Raybould)

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