VietinBank begins roadshow for overseas bond sales

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VietinBank, Vietnam's largest partly private lender by assets, said it was starting roadshows to sell bonds in Asia, Europe and the United States on Monday, which could involve an issue of $500 million to fund business expansion.

The Hanoi-based lender is seeking medium- and long-term funds and will tap bond investors in Singapore, Hong Kong, London, Boston, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, it said in a statement without giving the value of the amount sought.

Last month state media quoted VietinBank Chairman Pham Huy Hung as saying the bank planned to raise $2 billion this year via dollar bonds and sell them in several tranches, the first of which would be to raise $500 million.

It has picked HSBC and Barclays as advisers.

The bond issue could come right after the roadshows, the bank's statement said. It gave no date for the end of the roadshows.

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said on March 16 it has assigned its "˜B+' long-term and "˜B' short-term counterparty credit ratings to VietinBank, and the outlook on the long-term rating is negative. It also assigned a "˜B+' issue rating to the bank's proposed issue of senior unsecured notes.

Shares in VietinBank were 0.81 percent up at 24,800 dong by 0306 GMT on Monday.

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