Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Vietcombank H1 gross profit $138 mln -newspaper

* Vietcombank H1 gross profit is 75 pct of annual target

* H1 loans up 14 pct versus end-2008

* Bad debt down to 4.1 pct of loans (Adds details)

HANOI, July 1 (Reuters) - First-half gross profit at Vietcombank VCB.HM, Vietnam's largest partly private lender by assets, reached 2.45 trillion dong ($138 million), 75 percent of its annual target, a state-run newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The assets of the lender, which made its domestic share debut on Tuesday, reached 222 trillion dong as of June 30, practically unchanged from 221.95 trillion at the end of 2008, Chairman Nguyen Hoa Binh was quoted by the Securities Investment magazine as saying.

Binh said loans totalled 129 trillion dong at the end of June, up 14 percent from the end of 2008, and profit from lending made up 70 percent of the bank's first half gross profit, he told the Planning and Investment Ministry-run magazine.

Shares in Vietcombank closed up 0.8 percent at 60,500 dong ($3.4) on Wednesday. The stock jumped by the maximum 20 percent allowed on its debut, but the small size of its listing limited the impact on the main index, which ended lower. [ID:nSP466389]

The Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange index .VNI fell further on Wednesday, losing 4.08 percent. However, the index has still risen 36 percent this year.

Vietcombank's credit growth in the first six months was below the 17 percent in Vietnam's banking sector as a whole, according to central bank reports.

Binh said the lender had cut bad debt to 4.1 percent of loans from 4.6 percent at the end of 2008, and its capital adequacy ratio stood at 9 percent, above the 8 percent rate considered safe by the central bank.

About 3 percent of loans in Vietnam's banking sector are bad, a rate higher than last year, Wednesday's state-run media quoted Le Xuan Nghia, vice-chairman of the National Financial Supervisory Committee, as saying. ($1=17,800 dong) (Reporting by Ho Binh Minh; Editing by Alan Raybould)

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