MPI backs UOB request to open wholly-owned bank

Monday, Jun 01, 2015 16:03

Singaporean United Overseas Bank seeks to open an 100 per cent invested bank in Viet Nam. — Photo
HA NOI (Biz Hub) — The planning and investment ministry (MPI) has asked the government to allow Singapore's United Overseas Bank (UOB) to open an 100 per cent invested bank.

According to financial website, the ministry said UOB has been asked Viet Nam's permission to open a wholly-owned foreign bank since 2008. The State Bank of Viet Nam confirmed submission of the request in 2011, but has not yet responded to it.

MPI said Singapore, with 1,405 projects and US$33 billion in investment, was the third largest investor in Viet Nam. But there's no 100 per cent Singapore-owned bank operating in Viet Nam.

Meanwhile, smaller investors have already opened two foreign investment banks in the country, MPI said, adding the Singapore bank thought it was not a satisfactory situation.

Currently, Viet Nam has five foreign banks -- Australian ANZ, the Malaysian Hong Leong Bank and the Korean Shinhan Vietnam Bank, besides the United Kingdom's Standard Chartered and HSBC. In the future, another Malaysian bank, Public Bank Berhad, will operate as a 100 per cent foreign bank. Sixty-four foreign banks have set up branches in Viet Nam so far.

According to local media, UOB was close to sealing a deal to buy a 100 per cent stake in the Vietnamese small-lender GP Bank, which was among the nine weakest banks that had estimated bad debt greater than their charter capital in Viet Nam

UOB is a leading bank in Asia, with a global network of more than 500 offices in 19 countries and territories in the Asia-Pacific, Western Europe and North America. Since its incorporation in 1935, UOB has grown organically through a series of strategic acquisitions. Named among the world's top banks, UOB is rated AA1 by Moody's and AA- by Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings respectively.

In Viet Nam, UOB has had its representative office in HCM City since 2008. It also holds a 15 per cent stake in Southern Bank.

In April, MPI's Vietnam's Foreign Investment Agency signed a MoU with UOB to help bring FDI to Viet Nam and Vietnamese companies venturing overseas.

With the signing of the MoU, the FIA will assist UOB customers who want to expand to key investment destinations in Viet Nam, such as the main cities of Ho Chi Minh City and Ha Noi, as well as the fast-developing cities of Da Nang, Phu Quoc, Can Tho and Hai Phong— VNS

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