SINGAPORE, March 12 (Reuters) - Warburg Pincus said it had agreed to invest more than $370 million in Vietnam Technological and Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Techcombank), in what it said was the largest ever private equity investment to date in the Southeast Asian nation.
Share listings and equity offerings are booming in Vietnam as the country speeds up its privatisation drive, supported by a strong stock market. Vietnam's main stock index rose nearly 50 percent last year, making it Asia's strongest performer.
"The Vietnamese banking sector is highly under penetrated with strong potential for outsized growth," Saurabh Agarwal, a managing director at Warburg Pincus, said in a statement.
Techcombank, a 25-year-old privately held bank, says it is one of the largest private sector joint stock commercial banks in Vietnam by total operating income and profit before tax.
"The Vietnamese economy and the banking sector are experiencing tremendous growth right now," said Ho Hung Anh, Techcombank's chairman.
Warburg said it is investing in Techcombank through two separate legal entities managed by the private equity firm. The investment is subject to regulatory approvals. It said the deal brings its total commitment in the country to more than $1 billion. (Reporting by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)