Commonwealth Bank of Australia agreed to buy a 15 percent stake in Vietnam International Commercial Joint-Stock Bank, becoming a strategic partner of the lender, according to a statement released Wednesday.
The Australian bank may raise its stake to 20 percent before Dec. 31, it said.
"Upon completion of this transaction, we expect to be a top five private joint stock bank in Vietnam," and CBA "will help us improve our competitiveness," VIBank Chairman Han Ngoc Vu said in the statement.
The Vietnamese lender, known as VIBank, had a pretax profit of VND205 billion in the first quarter, it said in a separate statement. Total assets reached VND55.86 trillion. The company expects pretax profit to reach VND907 billion this year.