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Bao Viet Holdings Rises as HSBC Reviewing Stake: Hanoi Mover

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Aug. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Bao Viet Holdings, Vietnam’s biggest insurer, rose to the highest in more than two weeks after HSBC Holdings Plc said it’s reviewing options for its stake in the company.

Shares of the Hanoi-based company advanced 1.2 percent to 42,700 dong as of 1:02 p.m. local time, headed for the highest close since July 24. The stock earlier surged as much as 2.4 percent. Vietnam’s benchmark VN Index fell 0.2 percent.

HSBC is reviewing options for its 18 percent stake in Bao Viet, the London-based bank said in a statement yesterday. “No decision has been made as yet and HSBC will make a further statement if or when appropriate,” it said in the statement.

“There are market expectations an insurance industry heavyweight with more clout to help restructure the company and bring in new products might replace HSBC as a strategic partner for Bao Viet,” Ho Chi Minh City-based Attila Vajda, a broker at ACB Securities Co., said in a phone interview. “As such, and as more news comes out on this deal as it progresses, there might some positive catalysts for the stock.”

Sumitomo Life is in talks to acquire the stake, Japan’s Nikkei newspaper reported July 19, without citing where it got the information from. HSBC bought 10 percent of Bao Viet in 2007 for $255 million. It increased that to 18 percent in a deal completed in January 2010.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Nguyen Kieu Giang in Hanoi at giang1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Darren Boey at dboey@bloomberg.net; Shelley Smith at ssmith118@bloomberg.net

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