Vietnam Electricity to trim ABBank stake: report

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State utility Vietnam Electricity (EVN) is selling a 5.3 percent stake in ABBank, which is 20 percent owned by Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) , to a Vietnamese lender in a move to divest from non-core businesses, a local web site said on Tuesday.

"EVN is asking the central bank's branch in Ho Chi Minh City for permission to sell the 5.3 percent stake of ABBank to HDBank," Vietnamplus (www.vietnamplus.vn), run by the Vietnam News Agency, quoted EVN Chief Executive Officer Pham Le Thanh as saying.

It gave no value of the share sale.

EVN now owns 25 percent of Ho Chi Minh City-based ABBank, state-run Vietnam Economic Times newspaper said in an online report (vneconomy.vn).

Smaller lender HDBank, or Ho Chi Minh City Development Bank, has a registered capital of 3 trillion dong.

Apart from the ownership of the Malaysian investor, ABBank, or An Binh Bank, with a registered capital of VND4.2 trillion ($202 million), is also 10 percent owned by the International Finance Corp.

The government has requested that state groups divest from non-core businesses in an attempt to stabilize the economy after years of over-investing in stock and real estate markets, which has stoked inflation.

The prime minister has recently relieved EVN Chairman Dao Van Hung from the post after EVN's losses and its ailing subsidiary EVN Telecom, state media have reported.

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