Vietnam officials ponder investment in bank listing

Vice Chairman Dung of the Vietnam Football Federation has consulted members of the VFF Executive Board about investing about US$3.12 million to become a founding, one-percent shareholder of the Vietnam Oil and Gas Bank. According to VietNamNet Bridge, the VFF has been given a pirority opportunity to take up the share issue due its close ties with Dinh La Thang, Chairman of the bank's Board of Directors, who was the Chairman of Song Da Nam Dinh FC. Dung reportedly said the VFF could earn profit of up to VND200 billion (US$12.5 million) because the current price of shares of the bank on the over-the-counter (OTC) market is five times more than the initial price.

Dung's scheme is for VFF to cooperate with a real estate firm, a subsidiary of the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group. VFF would contribute capital by the land use right of the Young Football Training Centre in Hanoi. However, to perform this initiative, VFF must get the approval of FIFA since the world football body invested in the Centre. Some members of the VFF Executive Board are worried about such an investment as no football federation in Asia has participated in the stock market, even in Japan and South Korea. In the first half of 2007, VFF earned profit of VND1.6 billion (US$100,000), according to Do Van Ninh, Secretary General in charge of finance.