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Sacombank Q1 net profit down 17 pct on year   2009-04-29 - sanotc

 Saigon Thuwong Tin Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Sacombank), 10% owned by Australia's ANZ, said on Wednesday its net profit in the first quarter of 2009 dipped 17% from a year before to 297 billion dong.

The Ho Chi Minh City-based bank also said in a quarterly report its unaudited gross profit in the January-March period dropped nearly 5% from the same period last year to 392 billion dong.

The bank did not provide reasons for the decline in earnings but state media said Sacombank incurred a loss of 75 billion dong from equity investments in the first quarter.

Shares in the country's sixth-largest lender by assets rose 800 dong, or 4%, to 21,000 dong at 0352 GMT on Wednesday.

Last month Sacombank shareholders approved the bank's target of credit growth of 50% this year to 50 trillion dong and the aim of keeping overdue debts at 2.5% of loans.

The lender projected a capital adequacy ratio this year of between 10% and 12%, above the 8% level considered safe for commercial banks.

Sacombank has projected its gross profit would rise 47 percent this year to 1.6 trillion dong after a fall in 2008.

ANZ plus the World Bank's International Finance Corp and Dragon Capital together own 30 percent of Sacombank, the ceiling for foreign ownership of listed banks in Viet Nam. (Reuters)

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