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Military Bank Unchanged in Vietnam’s Biggest 2011 Listing

Military Commercial Joint-Stock Bank closed unchanged on its first day on Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange after listing 10.07 trillion dong ($479.4 million) of shares in the nation’s biggest listing this year.

The company’s 730 million shares on the country’s main bourse closed at 13,800 dong after rising as high as 14,500 dong earlier. The benchmark VN Index dropped 1.7 percent to 413.82, the biggest loss since Sept. 23.

“The general market is falling, so I think Military Bank was still doing great both in terms of liquidity and price,” said Attila Vajda, Ho Chi Minh City-based head of institutional clients at ACB Securities Co. “The selling pressure in the market was high today, so it couldn’t maintain its great start at the beginning of the day.”

The VN Index has declined 14.6 percent this year as the government tightened monetary policy to fight inflation that accelerated to the fastest in two years in August. Consumer prices rose 21.59 percent in October from a year earlier, according to data released on Oct. 24 by the General Statistics Office in Hanoi.

The lender is targeting a 33 percent rise in pretax profit to 3.87 trillion dong next year, it said in a prospectus filed on the exchange’s website.

The listing will “increase our financial capability, enhance management and transparency as well as boost our image,” Le Cong, general director of the bank, said in a statement filed on its website. “This is also one strategic step in the 2011-to-2015 period, with the goal of becoming one of the top three commercial banks in Vietnam,” he said.

Military Bank set a pretax profit target of 5.2 trillion dong in 2013. It plans a dividend ratio of about 15 percent between 2011 and 2013, according to the prospectus.

“As long as it can maintain good liquidity, it will be favored by investors, and foreign institutional investors will flow into it as well,” Vajda said.

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