Sacombank, Vietnam's sixth-largest partly private lender by assets, is aiming to complete this year a merger with unlisted domestic Phuong Nam Bank, the latest in a series of consolidation moves in the overcrowded financial sector.
Shareholders of the Ho Chi Minh City-based Sacombank have authorised the management board to seek permission for the merger within in 2015, Sacombank said in the statement to the stock exchange late on Tuesday.
Early last year Sacombank shareholders already approved the merger but gave no timeframe for completion.
Vietnam's central bank says it expects six to eight mergers this year as it seeks to strengthen a sector clogged with more than 40 lenders, many of which are considered by analysts to be risky, under-capitalised and laden with bad debt.
To rebuild the sector and help restructure its banks, the government will increase the total foreign shareholdings cap in local lenders beyond the currant 30 percent, according to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.
Phuong Nam (Southern) Bank, also based in Ho Chi Minh City, is 20 percent owned by Singapore's United Overseas Bank .
Sacombank shares were down 0.56 percent at 17,700 dong ($0.82) at 0256 GMT on Wednesday, the lowest since Feb. 9, Reuters data showed.