VIETNAM TO ALLOW FOREIGNERS TO INVEST UP TO 30 PERCENT IN BANKS

VIETNAM TO ALLOW FOREIGNERS TO INVEST UP TO 30 PERCENT IN BANKS

Vietnam has allowed local joint stock finance companies and commercial banks to raise up to 30 percent of their capital from foreign shareholders, state (central) bank officials said on Friday.

They said Cao Si Kiem, state bank governor, issued a decree on Dec. 2 authorizing foreign individuals and organizations to buy shares.A single foreign shareholder may contribute up to 10 percent of a firm's total capital, and the total held by foreign shareholders may not exceed 30 percent, according to details of the decree in the state-owned Vietnam News newspaper.

It specified that overseas Vietnamese individuals and firms were eligible to buy, transfer and inherit shares.

Increasing numbers of an estimated 2 million overseas Vietnamese have shown interest in investing in the mother country as its market economy develops.

The largest communities are in France, Australia and the United States, especially California.

The decision appeared to be aimed at providing them with broader market opportunities.