Banks of the Republic of Korea (RoK) are accelerating efforts to capture business opportunity in Vietnam – a fast-growing market.
The country’s four major banks, namely Shinhan, KB Kookmin, KEB Hana and Woori, reported a total net profit of 132 million USD from business in Vietnam last year.
Shinhan has led efforts to establish a presence in Vietnam, entering the country in 1993. It now has 32 branches in Vietnam – the largest number among foreign banks in the country.
The bank generated 96.6 billion won (81.7 million USD) in net profit in 2018, which was 26 percent of Shinhan's global net profit.
KB Kookmin Bank has two branches in Vietnam and Woori Bank nine.
The banks, which mainly offer corporate loans, are seeking to expand into retail finance. They are also planning to increase the portion of Vietnamese customers, as they have mainly been tending to Korean customers there.
Meanwhile, KEB Hana Bank said recently that it acquired 15 percent of the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV)'s shares, at a cost of 1.25 trillion won. BIDV is Vietnam's largest bank by assets.
KEB Hana Bank's investment is set to help expand its business into retail finance, as well as boost its digital banking and risk management capabilities.
It has two branches in Vietnam ― one in Hanoi and the other in Ho Chi Minh.-VNA