Bao Viet Holdings rises on earnings, dividend plan

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Bao Viet Holdings, Vietnam's biggest listed insurer, snapped a two-day loss in Ho Chi Minh City share trading after forecasting revenue will jump 11 percent this year and saying it will raise its dividend payment.

The stock rose 3.8 percent at the close, rebounding from a 5.4 percent slump in the previous two days. The benchmark VN Index gained 1.1 percent.

The Hanoi-based company raised its dividend payment for 2012 to 1,500 dong per share, from an initially planned 1,200 dong, Chief Executive officer Nguyen Thi Phuc Lam said today. Bao Viet is targeting another 1,500-dong dividend this year, she said.

The insurer forecast pretax profit of 1.8 trillion dong ($86 million) this year and expects revenue to rise to 17.8 trillion dong, Chief of Operations Hoang Viet Ha said in an interview. Earnings targets will be discussed and submitted for shareholder approval at the company's annual general meeting scheduled on April 24.

"Investors are a bit excited with the dividend news, especially considering some companies had to cut dividends," Giang Trung Kien, head of research at FPT Securities Co. said by phone today. "Their earnings targets are also very ambitious, but we believe that Bao Viet could make it, as it did a good job last year even though the slowdown in the economy cut demand for non-life insurance."

Vietnam's gross domestic product expanded 5.03 percent last year, down from 5.89 percent in 2011, the General Statistics Office said Dec. 25. That was the slowest growth since 1999.

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