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By Mai Nguyen
Feb 24 (Reuters) - The State Bank of Vietnam has removed a banking tycoon and his son from the board at Sacombank, the central bank said in a statement on Friday.
Tram Be and his son Tram Khai Hoa, both members of Sacombank’s board of directors, will step down as a result of the country’s reforms of its banks, the central bank said.
Vietnam has been restructuring the fragmented sector and helping lighten the load of bad debts by pushing for stricter lending and debt classification rules, takeovers of weak lenders and fraud investigations.
The country’s central bank set up Vietnam Asset Management Company to help tackle the then increasing problem of non-performing loans, which accounted for 17.2 percent of total loans in September 2012 but were down to 2.53 percent by September last year.
The central bank approved a merger between Sacombank and local lender Phuong Nam Bank in 2015 but at the same time took over all Sacombank shares owned by then deputy chairman Tram Be as part of the reform programme.
Friday’s announcement by the central bank would officially end Tram Be’s direct involvement in the bank’s management.
However, the central bank said in its statement that “Tram Be and related parties have the responsibility to continue solving existing issues at Sacombank in accordance with present laws”.
Sacombank’s share price dropped 6.79 percent on Friday to close at 10,300 dong ($0.45). Last month the bank reported a 67.5 percent fall in annual net profits to 372.5 billion dong ($16.3 million).
Sacombank did not immediately reply to a request for comment. ($1 = 22,815 dong) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Greg Mahlich)