HANOI Jan 9 Taiwan's Taipei Fubon Bank,
Industrial Bank of Korea (024110.KS) and Commonwealth Bank of
Australia (CBA.AX) would open branches in Vietnam, one of Asia's
fastest growing economies.
The State Bank of Vietnam said in a statement seen on
Wednesday it would soon license the three banks to open branches,
joining around 30 foreign banks already operating nearly 40
branches in the country.
The statement on the central bank's Web site (www.sbv.gov.vn)
did not say when and where the three banks would open branches.
The Industrial Bank of Korea has a representative office in
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's commercial and financial centre.
The central bank also said it had given initial approval for
the establishment of five more domestic joint stock banks, which
taking to nine the number of such Vietnamese banks awaiting a
It said the five were Energy Bank, Asia Foreign Trade Bank,
Vietnam Star Bank, Dong Duong Thuong Tin Bank and Bao Tin Bank.
Late last year, the Oil and Gas, Lien Viet, Bao Viet and FPT
banks also secured initial approval.
Apart from six state-run banks and 35 domestic partly private
banks, 35 foreign banks which have a combined 14 percent share of
the loan market, six venture banks, four financial leasing
ventures, two wholly foreign owned financial leasing firms and 50
representative offices of foreign banks also operate in Vietnam.
The country has about 4,000 bank branches, half of them run
by state-run Agribank, Vietnam's largest enterprise.
A Planning and Investment Ministry official has said Vietnam
wanted to limit credit growth to 22-25 percent this year after
inflation hit 12.63 percent in December, the highest since
December 1995, when the CPI spiked 12.7 percent.
The central bank said loans jumped 37 percent last year in an
economy that grew 8.48 percent. The government aims for 9 percent
growth this year.
(Reporting by Ho Binh Minh; Editing by Michael Battye)