Deutsche Bank buys 10 pc of Vietnam's Habubank

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Frankfurt, Oct 1: Deutsche Bank has bought a 10 percent stake Vietnamese lender Hanoi Building Commercial Joint Stock Bank, or Habubank, Germany's biggest bank said on Monday.

Deutsche declined to give financial details of the transaction but Vietnamese brokerages valued the stake, the maximum Deutsche is legally allowed to take in the lender, at about $42 million.

The purchase will allow Deutsche to participate directly Vietnam's rapidly expanding retail financial services industry, Deutsche said in a statement.

Habubank serves more than 111,000 retail and small and medium-sized business customers through its network of 26 branches and 750 employees, it added.

Deutsche Bank got state approval to finalise the purchase, announced on Feb. 1, a spokesman said.

It had originally intended to buy 20 percent of the lender but Vietnam did not make expected changes to legislation that would have allowed for the purchase of the larger stake.

Vietnamese brokerages which track share prices on the country's stock market give the shares a price of $3.30 each, valuing the whole bank at $420 million.

Vietnam's GDP growth of 8.17 percent in 2006 makes it one of the fastest-expanding economies in the world after China, attracting record foreign direct investment of more than $10 billion last year.


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