Vietnam hearing delayed in ABN-Amro case – Forbes

A court hearing has been postponed in Vietnam between state-owned Incombank and Dutch-based ABN Amro in a multi-million-dollar currency trading dispute, informed sources said.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of Vietnam (Incombank) has demanded ABN Amro pay US$ 5.4 million it claims went missing in speculative deals the Dutch bank executed with an Incombank trader not authorised to make them.

The state-owned bank employee, who allegedly used a stolen computer password to make the transactions, has been arrested on charges of losing state resources through economic mismanagement. Incombank wants ABN Amro to “undo the transactions” and pay interest on the amount lost as well as legal costs, said a source close to the case.

A preliminary hearing at the Hanoi People’s Court between the two banks’ lawyers and a judge scheduled for Monday, Aug 14, has been delayed at the request of ABN Amro, said other sources.

Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Le Dung said,

  • Vietnam’s relevant agencies are dealing with the case transparently and clearly, in conformity with Vietnamese law and our country’s commitments to international agreements.
  • We hope ABN Amro, Incombank and Vietnam’s relevant agencies shall work closely together to find an appropriate solution,’ he said yesterday.
  • Our consistent policy is to create a favourable environment for investors, including foreign investors and foreign banks. This case shall not affect the overall investment environment and the relationships between Vietnam and foreign countries, the Netherlands in particular.

Read more …

Related reports

The Vietnamese chief investigator affirmed on Sep 9, 2006 that his investigation agency has abided by the law and has not criminalized the multi-million-dollar fraud involving the ABN-Amro bank. Read more …

According to Vietnamese press reports, an employee of the Hanoi office had admitted to endorsing monetary transactions though he had not been authorized and to failing to execute numerous signed contracts. Read more …

AmCham statement at the Vietnam Business Forum, June 5, 2006

Banking and Capital Markets

“We share the concern of the Banking and Capital Markets Working Group about an extended police investigation into foreign exchange transactions of a foreign bank branch, with (1) criminalization of normal (civil) business transactions, and (2) the lack of involvement by the State Bank in legal proceedings involving financial institutions. The first could freeze business in Vietnam. The second could negatively impact Vietnam’s financial markets in general and foreign exchange markets in particular.”

Read the complete AmCham Statement to Vietnam Business Forum, June 5, 2006

What is the Vietnam Business Forum?

Please click here to learn more about the Vietnam Business Forum.