UOB says no comment on report of its interest in buying Vietnam's GP Bank

United Overseas Bank is among potential banks which are interested in buying a small Vietnamese lender, GP Bank, as part of Vietnam's banking sector reform, according to a senior GP Bank executive, the Dau Tu (Investment) newspaper reported on Monday.

Responding to Straits Times' queries, a UOB spokesperson said, ""UOB does not comment on market rumour and speculation."

According to Viet Nam News, GP Bank is one of nine ailing banks which were forced by the country's central bank to restructure. Developed from the Ninh Binh Rural Commercial Joint Stock Bank to become an urban commercial joint stock bank, it has been operating in Hanoi since November 7, 2005. GP Bank has a head office and nearly 80 branches and transaction sites nationwide, together with a workforce of more than 1,400.

While the price tag of the deal is yet to be disclosed, industry experts told the newspaper the amount was probably not a large one.