Baoviet Holdings (BVH) announced on December 18 that the Sumitomo Life Insurance Company has officially increased its ownership in Vietnam’s leading financial - insurance group, raising its holding from 17.48 per cent to 22.09 per cent.

Sumitomo Life outlaid VND4.012 trillion ($173 million) on purchasing an additional 41,436,330 BVH shares at a price of VND96,817 ($4.1) each.

Baoviet has issued 41,436,330 additional shares to foreign investors, increasing charter capital to VND7.423 trillion ($319 million). Through this latest deal, it strengthens its financial capacity to fulfill its business strategy in the time to come.

Analysts said the relaxation on foreign ownership limits in the field of finance and insurance has proven attractive among Japanese investors, in which the economic development model adopted by the Vietnamese Government is quite familiar to Japanese businesses. Vietnam is currently considered the most attractive market among emerging countries.

Mr. Do Truong Minh, CEO of Baoviet Holdings, emphasized Sumitomo Life continuing to increase its ownership shows the confidence of its shareholders in the local insurer. “The transaction represents the next step in the implementation of Baoviet’s strategy, so we can focus capital and resources on promoting growth in our core business fields,” he added. “In the next phase, through improving our competitiveness, the quality of combined financial services, and smart financial products and insurance, Baoviet can better meet the increasingly diverse needs of the economy and society.”

Mr. Masahiro Hashimoto, CEO of Sumitomo Life, said that Baoviet and Sumitomo Life have been working together for some time to build a more valuable and indispensable partnership for both. “With this additional investment, I believe this partnership will become stronger and I am confident that Baoviet will accelerate its growth in the coming decades,” he said. “We would like to raise our efforts to flexibly provide Baoviet with know-how in the insurance business in line with the needs of Baoviet and the people of Vietnam. I also strongly hope that Baoviet and Sumitomo Life will continue to achieve further development with mutual trust.”

During this private placement offering, Baoviet Holdings attracted the attention of many potential international investors. Through a process of evaluating and ranking investor profiles, Sumitomo Life was selected to participate in the negotiation round. In the course of negotiating the share purchasing contract, both sides expressed a willingness to cooperate and respect each other on the basis of ensuring all legal rights and interests of both parties.