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Vietcombank logs brisk growth after years of toil on bad loans

Vietnam aims to speed up bank reform by raising foreign ownership limit in 2017

HO CHI MINH CITY -- Vietcombank has logged an 8.2 trillion dong ($363 million) pretax profit for 2016, up 23.4% and surpassing its own target of 7.5 trillion dong. The growth follows a few years of effort to tackle nonperforming loans.

The bank -- officially the Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam -- said capital mobilization rose 19.4%, to 600 trillion dong, while outstanding credit increased 18.9% to almost 470 trillion dong. Chairman Nghiem Xuan Thanh told a company conference in the first week of January that "2016 was a successful year," with the lender having "settled all NPLs and reached a record-high pretax profit."

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