Vietnamese police have ordered unlisted lender OceanBank to freeze all accounts of its parent company, Ocean Group, the founder of which is under investigation for financial fraud.
Ocean Group, which has interests in real estate, banking, securities, retail, media and hotels, has lost half of its value since the arrest of tycoon chairman Ha Van Tham late in October, in response to a central bank investigation that found "serious violations" in lending.
The police order was given to OceanBank on Dec. 31, it said in a statement to the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange on Wednesday. The U.S.-educated Tham, one of Vietnam's richest men, was removed as the bank's chairman when he was arrested.
Vietnam's banking sector has been dogged by fraud scandals collectively worth hundreds of millions of dollars, blamed largely on poor oversight, and some experts say a slew of arrests in the past few years is just the tip of the iceberg.
Details of the value of the frozen assets were not available. Shares in OGC, which has a market value of 2.13 trillion dong ($99 million), dropped 4.05 percent by the close on Wednesday.