Sacombank Head Replaced, Wife Resigns From Bourbon Board

Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Joint Stock Bank, Vietnam’s third-largest publicly traded lender by value, replaced its chairman a day after his wife resigned from the board of the nation’s biggest listed sugar company.

Pham Huu Phu will take Dang Van Thanh’s position, the lender known as Sacombank said yesterday in an e-mailed statement after stock markets closed. Sacombank shares fell to the lowest in more than eight months before the announcement.

Thanh’s wife, Huynh Bich Ngoc, resigned from the board of Bourbon Tay Ninh Joint-Stock Co. the previous day, dragging the sugar company’s shares down by the most in more than six weeks. Declines in the two stocks helped push the benchmark VN Index down by 3.3 percent to the lowest level since Jan. 20.

“The bottomline is that there may be other management changes,” Fiachra MacCana, managing director of Ho Chi Minh City Securities Corp., said by phone yesterday. “In the next three or four months, authorities may look at other banks and look for improvements in cases where they feel this is needed.”

Sacombank’s outgoing Chairman Thanh had declined to comment when reached on his mobile phone as the lender’s shares slumped before the statement announcing his replacement. CEO Phan Huy Khang said bank operations are “normal” when contacted on his mobile phone yesterday. The stock lost 3.1 percent to 18,700 dong, the lowest close since Feb. 23.

Bourbon Shares

Phu, Thanh’s successor, was previously Sacombank’s vice chairman. Before joining the bank’s management board in May, Phu was the standing vice chairman of Vietnam Export-Import Commercial Joint Stock Bank.

Bourbon Tay Ninh shares fell 4.5 percent to 16,900 dong, the steepest slide since Sept. 18. Ngoc resigned because she’s too busy to attend regular board meetings, General Director Nguyen Ba Chu said by phone yesterday. She stepped down as chairwoman of Bourbon Tay Ninh in April when Dang Huynh Uc My, her daughter, took over, Chu said. Ngoc and Thanh are married, according to a 2011 Sacombank filing to the stock exchange.

The VN Index has fallen 23 percent from this year’s peak on May 8 as slowing economic growth hurt corporate earnings and arrests of banking officials spurred concerns about further instability in the nation’s financial system.

“A few concerns made investors panic,” Nguyen Hoai Nam, Hanoi-based deputy head of research at Maybank Kim Eng Securities Joint-Stock Co., said by phone yesterday. “Incidents at some big companies made pessimists wonder what will happen next elsewhere and left them worried about the entire business environment.”

— With assistance by Diep Pham

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