In an attempt to enhance the flexibility of the Vietnam Asset Management Company (VAMC) in dealing with non-performing loans (NPLs), on 31 March 2015 the Government issued Decree 34/2015/ND-CP (Decree 34) amending some provisions under Decree 53/2013/ND-CP (Decree 53) on the establishment, organisation and operation of VAMC. Decree 34 came into force as of 5 April 2015.

Decree 34 streamlines the process of managing NPLs by enabling VAMC to purchase NPLs at market price, in addition to issuing special bonds at the book value of the NPLs. This is one of the areas that has been highlighted as a key to facilitating foreign investment in VAMC directly, or in portfolios of NPLs purchased from VAMC.

Decree 34 focuses on the following key areas:

Increased capabilities of VAMC in purchasing NPLs at market price

The capabilities of VAMC in purchasing NPLs at market price are strengthened as follows:

  • Increase of charter capital of VAMC. The charter capital of VAMC is increased from VND 500 billion (approximately US$23.2 million) to VND 2,000 billion (approximately US$93 million). In addition, the Prime Minister is empowered to decide on future amendments to the charter capital of VAMC. Previously, the power to determine the charter capital of VAMC was vested in the Government. There are two clear benefits to this change. VAMC will now have more equity on hand to deal with NPLs. Moreover, this should also result in a more streamlined process in the future to increase the charter capital of VAMC.
  • Issuance of bonds. VAMC is permitted to issue bonds and use the proceeds to purchase NPLs at market price and not solely at book value which has been the practice to date. The bond issuance plan by VAMC must be approved by the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV). The bonds issued by VAMC can be used by credit institutions in open market operations and as collateral for refinancing from the SBV.

More power for VAMC to manage NPLs and collateral

Under Decree 53, only VAMC itself can initiate recovery proceedings against borrowers, or other obligors or guarantors. However, pursuant to Decree 34, VAMC can authorise or transfer its right to conduct proceedings to the credit institution that has sold the corresponding NPLs to VAMC. This should provide more flexibility for VAMC and credit institutions alike in managing NPL portfolios and taking legal action.

Flexibility related to Special Bonds

According to Decree 34, credit institutions have the right to repurchase the underlying NPLs from VAMC prior to the maturity of the Special Bonds issued for those NPLs. This right was not provided for in Decree 53.

Moreover, Decree 34 has removed the requirement that credit institutions maintain loss provisions of no less than 20 percent of the face value of the Special Bonds per annum.

The tenure of the Special Bonds is also increased from five to 10 years to purchase the NPLs of credit institutions under receivership or "special control" of the SBV.