Eximbank director denies resignation rumors following profit slump

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Eximbank Director Truong Van Phuoc denied rumors of his resignation on August 5 in a controversy that erupted at the same time as the bank posted a first-half profit slump.

Speaking to Tien Phong newspaper, Phuoc said he did not write any letter of resignation.

"Whether I stay or not is supposed to be announced publicly... There is definitely no such thing," said the director of the bank which met only 25 percent of the year's target in the first half.

Phuoc has been Eximbank's director for around seven years since 2000 (he was out of the position between 2003 and 2008 ). Between 2003 and 2007 he was chief of the State Bank of Vietnam unit that handles foreign currency exchange, and the director of the Transaction Office a year later.

Rumors began a few days after the bank posted pre-tax profits of less than VND800 billion (US$37.89 million) in the first six months of the year, down 60 percent year-on-year.

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Phuoc is requesting economic police to investigate the source of the rumors.

Several local news websites cited their "own sources" as saying Phuoc was "unlikely" to continue to be director of the Ho Chi Minh City-based bank, but might take "another important" position at the bank's branch in Hanoi.

They also said Nguyen Quoc Huong, the bank's deputy director, would be a "prospective candidate" for Phuoc's position.

Eximbank, which entered the world's top 1,000 in 2011, said the profit slump was due to its slow credit growth of 5.7 percent since the start of the year.

The bank chairman Le Hung Dung has said it was difficult for banks to expect high profits from lending given the stagnant economy and shrinking manufacturing base.

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