South Korean giants flock to Vietnam’s finance & banking market
VietNamNet Bridge - Two out of eight wholly foreign-owned banks in Vietnam are from South Korea. Besides banks, many other South Korean corporations have contributed capital to, or cooperated with, Vietnamese banks.


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According to the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA), South Korea topped the list of 125 countries and territories with foreign investment in Vietnam, with total registered capital of $58.1 billion by the end of 2017, or 18.1 percent of total foreign investment capital.

South Korean investors have poured money into retail, tourism and technology, and have been increasing their presence in Vietnam’s finance and banking market.

Two out of eight foreign banks in Vietnam are South Korean invested – Shinhan Bank and Woori Bank. Other South Korean banks have set up either branches or representative offices in Vietnam — KEB Hana, Industrial Bank of Korea, Kookmin, Busan and Nonghyup.

South Korean investors have also bought Vietnamese finance companies or banks.

Sources said Hana, a South Korean finance group, is planning to scale up its business in Vietnam by becoming a shareholder of the Bank of Investment & Development of Vietnam (BIDV), one of the four biggest commercial banks.  

South Korea topped the list of 125 countries and territories with foreign investment in Vietnam, with total registered capital of $58.1 billion by the end of 2017, or 18.1 percent of total foreign investment capital.

BIDV will issue shares to the South Korean partner to increase its charter capital. The two parties are awaiting approval from the State Bank of Vietnam to wrap up the deal.

By the end of 2017, BIDV’s total assets had reached VND1,200 trillion. The bank reported profit of VND8.8 trillion for 2017, the highest level so far.

Prior to that, Shinhan, another finance group, completed the purchase of the retail banking division of ANZ. 

Meanwhile, Shinhan Card, the credit card company ranked fifth globally, has taken over Prudential Finance (PVFC) in a deal worth $151 million (5.52 times higher than the face value).

Mirae Assets and Lotte are also two big and familiar South Korean names in Vietnam. The former has operated a finance company for 10 years, while the latter, through Lotte Card, took over TechcomFinance, a finance company set up by Techcombank.

In 2017, a series of comprehensive cooperation deals were made between South Korean and Vietnamese banks, including tones between Korean Development Bank (KDB) and BIDV, Daegu Bank and Orient Bank, Nonghyup and Agribank.

An analyst said the arrival of South Korean financiers follows a strong South Korean investment wave in Vietnam. South Korean-invested enterprises in Vietnam need banking services and they prefer their own banks. 

In addition, the retail banking, credit card and consumer lending markets in Vietnam, with a high growth rate, are lucrative markets.


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Kim Chi

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