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The powerful businessman who caused chaos in the banking sector

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The businessman Tram Be became even more famous after a hostile takeover deal in the banking sector, taking a key position at Sacombank and changing the fate of the bank.

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Tram Be and his sons and daughter


At Sacombank’s 2017 shareholders’ meeting, shareholders questioned why Tram Be (former chair of Sacombank and chair of the bank’s credit council) was absent, and who approved the merger of SouthernBank with Sacombank despite disagreement from shareholders.

The shareholders also wondered why Sacombank, which performed well years ago and paid high dividends to shareholders, has not done so in recent years.

Why has Sacombank gone downhill so dramatically, with trillions of dong worth of bad debts and the bank’s share price now below VND10,000?

Sacombank once experienced golden days when Dang Van Thanh was the chair of the bank. However, a hostile takeover affair conducted by a group of hidden shareholders in 2011 changed its fate.

The head of the group of hidden shareholders was Tram Be, who was then the owner of SouthernBank, which later merged with Sacombank.

Be became famous among the business circle as the influential man who acquired Sacombank and the director of the merger deal. 

He became the biggest shareholder at both Sacombank and Southernbank. And for the first time in history, one family held the controlling stake at two banks.

However, Be’s power did not help Sacombank develop. Be and Phan Huy Khang, who was CEO of SouthernBank and Sacombank, caused troubles to Sacombank as they had with SouthernBank before. 

Be told Khang to disburse trillions of dong in loans. Be and Khang lent a hand to Pham Cong Danh and an accessory in a case which caused damage of VND1.8 trillion to VNCB.

Prior to that, SouthernBank provided many big loans to Danh personally (related to Thien Thanh Group). Inspectors have found that in many cases, the borrower did not meet the requirements to get loans. And SouthernBank did not oversee how the lent money was used.

Until his arrest, Tram Be had poured money into many different fields. He was chair of Son Son, a seafood processing company, a member of the board of directors of the Binh Chanh Investment & Construction (BCCI), president of Trieu An Hospital, Phuong Nam Gold, Silver and Gemstone and Phuong Nam Securities. 

Be took the post of deputy chair of SouthernBank in 2004. In 2012, Be and his son, Tram Khai Hoa, unexpectedly left SouthernBank to join the leadership of Sacombank. In early 2017, the State Bank stopped Be’s and Hoa’s involvement at Sacombank.



Source: VietNamNet

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