Saturday, November 10, 2007

Australia and New Zealand Banking to build Vietnam powerhouse

Newly-appointed Chief Executive Officer of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ) said the bank will step up its activities in Vietnam as part of its strategy to become a power house in Asia.

“We will focus on a number of key countries and Vietnam is one of these key countries,” Michael Smith said at a press conference held in Ha Noi on November 11 during his two-day visit to Vietnam.

According to Smith, one of many reasons for ANZ’s decision is the economic centre of gravity in the world is increasingly shifting to Asia and Vietnam will be among the region’s most important economies.

“Continued expansion in Vietnam is one of my priorities,” Smith affirmed, adding that the country’s retail banking market is opening up and has big potential.

A growing in GDP per capita and an increase in the awareness of the banking products available to people are among elements making good conditions for banks in the retail market, Smith said.
He also noted that the Vietnamese Government is trying to create a sound competition among banks when it applies an open policy and allows wholly foreign-owned bank branches to be set up in Vietnam.