Vietnam. VN People Dealbook: Sabeco and Habeco replace chairmen, central bank dismisses DongA Bank key executives

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Changes in personnel at the top level at several Vietnamese businesses have taken place. At DongA Bank, following its recently exposed financial problems, its chief executive Tran Phuong Binh and deputy CEO Nguyen Thi Ngoc Van had to step down, to be replaced by people from the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam. Meanwhile, the country’s two largest brewers, Habeco and Sabeco, has also witnessed the change in the chairman position.

Habeco and Sabeco have new chairmen
The Ministry of Industry and Trade, which is the state agency to hold a controlling stake of nearly 90 per cent in the Saigon Beer, Alcohol and Beverage Corporation (Sabeco), has dismissed the company’s chairman Phan Dang Tuat and will assign him with another task.

Bui Ngoc Hanh, a board member at Sabeco, replaced Tuat to chair the brewer from August 18.

The former chairman, born in 1957, held his position from May 2012, while Hanh used to be chairman of Ho Chi Minh City-based Chuong Duong Beverage and has served Sabeco board since 2008.

Sabeco has a charter capital of VND6.4 trillion ($285.7 million), in which the state capital accounts for 89.59 per cent. The Ministry of Industry and Trade is planning to offload its holding in the brewer to 36 per cent.

Most recently, the State Auditor has required Sabeco to submit an excess of VND408 billion in special consumption tax. However, Tuat then confirmed no tax policy violations. So far, the case has not been settled.


The aforementioned ministry has also replaced the key executive in another beverage company in the north of Vietnam, the Hanoi Beer, Alcohol and Beverage JSC (Habeco). Accordingly, Do Xuan Ha, former director of the ministry’s local industry department, has been appointed, as Habeco’s former chairman Nguyen Tuan Phong resigned from June.

Ha said in his inaugural speech that he will do his best to lead Habeco to a united, growing corporation. Ho Thi Kim Thoa, deputy minister of industry and trade, believes Ha will practice what he has preached, with his experience in the industry.

Vietnam central bank dismisses DongA Bank managing executives

The State Bank of Vietnam has dismissed Tran Phuong Binh from being the CEO of DongA Bank, replaced by Vo Hai Nam, head of the risk management division at the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV).

In addition, Nguyen Thi Ngoc Van, deputy CEO of DongA Bank was also dismissed. Replaced her is Pham The Nguyen, also from the BIDV.

On August 14, the central bank announced its investigation result which showed that from 2012 backwards, DongA Bank had committed a lot of financial frauds, and decided to put this lender under special control while appointing executives from the BIDV to manage and supervise the operation of this lender.

The case was exposed after Kinh Do Corp, one of Vietnam’s major food producers, declined to invest VND1 trillion to own 17 per cent of the bank, and sources stated that the food firm’s decision was because of DongA Bank’s financial issues.

Binh has chaired the bank since 1998, and his family members collectively hold more than 22.7 per cent of the bank.

Binh and his wife, Cao Thi Ngoc Dung, and their three daughters own 9.62 per cent of DongA Bank, while Dung’s company, Phu Nhuan Jewelry, is a large shareholder of the bank with a 7.7 per cent stake. In addition, Dung sister – Cao thi Ngoc Hong – is the legal representative of An Binh Capital JSC, which is holding 5.4 per cent of DongA Bank.