HANOI, July 8 (Reuters) - Vietnam's Sacombank STB.HM, 10 percent owned by Australia's ANZ (ANZ.AX), said its first-half gross profit reached 905 billion dong ($51 million), up 20 percent from a year earlier, thanks to strong lending.
Sacombank, the country's sixth-largest lender by assets, said in a statement on Wednesday that its loans totalled 47.64 trillion dong at the end of June, up 36 percent from the end of last year.
The Ho Chi Minh City-based lender said its bad debt fell to 0.71 percent of loans last month from 0.76 percent in April.
Sacombank's credit growth in the first half was nearly double that in the entire Vietnamese banking system, which the central bank estimated at 17.01 percent. [ID:nHAN357450]
The lender's total assets reached 82.76 trillion dong at the end of June, 21 percent higher than at the end of 2008.
The World Bank's International Finance Corp, Dragon Capital and ANZ Bank together own 30 percent of Sacombank, the ceiling for foreign ownership of listed banks in Vietnam.
Sacombank has forecast that its gross profit would rise 47 percent this year to 1.6 trillion dong after a fall in 2008. [ID:nHAN369575].
Sacombank shares closed up 0.85 percent at 35,300 dong. ($1=17,760 dong)