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Banking & Finance

Another former Ocean Bank leader arrested

Released at: 10:51, 25/12/2014

Another former Ocean Bank leader arrested

Former Deputy CEO detained over banking irregularities.

by Ha Anh

Police said on December 22 that Mr. Nguyen Van Hoan, former Deputy CEO of the joint stock Ocean Bank, has been arrested for allegedly violating State regulations on credit institutions’ lending operations.

The arrest followed a decision approved by the People’s Supreme Inspectorate based on Article 179 of the Penal Code. Mr. Hoan, 37, who is also the founder of the bank’s lending council, was arrested on charges of breaching regulations pursuant to Article 179.

He was allegedly an accomplice of Mr. Ha Van Tham, the former Chairman of Ocean Bank who was arrested on October 24. Police found that Mr. Tham had signed a decision approving a VND500 billion ($23.4 million) loan to the Trung Dung Commercial Ltd Company even though he knew that the company’s loan application was not satisfactory.

Police announced on October 24 that he would be held for four months while investigations were conducted over financial irregularities. He was also charged with violating regulations on granting loans under Article 179 of the Penal Code.

Ocean Group - Ocean Bank’s parent firm - has charter capital of VND3 trillion ($141.6 million) and interests in real estate, banking, securities, retail, media, and hotels.

In May 2014 it was reported to be planning to sell 15 per cent of its capital to the London-based Hermes Capital this year and boosting its charter capital by 25 per cent from VND4 trillion ($190.5 million) to VND5 trillion ($238.1 million). No further developments regarding the deal have been published since.

In 2013 Ocean Bank - headquartered in Hanoi with two branches in Ho Chi Minh City - earned pre-tax profit of VND643 billion ($30.6 million) on total assets of nearly VND62.64 trillion ($3 billion). It targets total profit of VND750 billion ($35.7 million) and a dividend of 10 per cent for 2014.

Ms. Nguyen Minh Thu is now Chairwoman of Ocean Bank, replacing Mr. Tham in October.

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