Vietnam Halts Joint-Stock Bank Licensing

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Aug. 11- The State Bank of Vietnam announced on its website that it will no longer issue licenses for establishing joint-stock commercial banks.

The move is in response to the government’s call to revise rules for the industry.
In a statement the government said, “Pending the revisions, the issue of permits for establishing new joint-stock commercial banks will be stopped temporarily.”

The government has warned that state-owned companies should stay within their core businesses rather than diversifying to industries ranging from real estate to banking.

In Vietnam only about 10 percent of its population use bank accounts. The country has 37 joint-stock banks, some being managed as private enterprises.

So far, the central bank has received more than 20 bank applications but has only approved two to begin operations.