Vietnam Airlines to sell its Techcombank shares

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Vietnam Airlines has announced it will auction off all its holdings in the Vietnam Technological and Commercial Joint-stock Bank on September 26.

Like other state-owned firms that have been ordered by the government to pullout of non-core sectors, Vietnam Airlines will sell over 24 million shares, equal to a 2.7 percent stake, and nearly 827,850 convertible bonds, which it holds in Techcombank.

Prices of the stocks and bonds start at VND12,100 (57 US cents) and VND132,700 ($6.28) per unit.

Over the past month, the value of the bank's shares ranged from VND9,000-12,200 in the over-the-counter market.

In the first six months, Techcombank posted a year-on-year 60 percent decrease in pretax profit. Bad debt levels at the bank have doubled since the end of last year to stand at 5.28 percent.

Vietnam Airlines was the biggest among Techcombank's founding shareholders with a 20 percent stake. The state airline has maintained its 2.7 percent stake in the bank since late 2011.

According to local news media, it already had plans to withdraw from four of its ten non-core sectors by year's end.

This year the state-owned firm is focusing on divesting from non-core businesses in banking, stocks, and insurance in accordance with a restructuring project from 2012-2015 approved by the government, which is trying to boost the sale of shares in public firms to strengthen the economy.

Economic growth for the first half of the year was 4.9 percent, while the target for the year is 5.5 percent.

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