by Richard Kilner
Story link: Vietnam attracts foreign banks
Industry analysts are predicting that Vietnam will see a plethora of foreign banks flocking to the country.
The forecasts come as Vietnam enjoys strong rates of growth in exports and foreign capital investment.
ANZ has revealed its intention to open between 10 and 12 branches by the end of 2008, once it has been granted approval to become an entirely foreign invested institution.
The firm’s general director, Dam Bich Thuy, has said that the grounds for its expansion plans are rooted in the nation’s unexploited potential.
ANZ first took a foothold in Vietnam fifteen years ago, when it opened an office in Hanoi.
It is not the only foreign bank intending to expand its Vietnamese operations, with both Standard Chartered Bank and HSBC aiming to create a number of urban branches in the near future.
The State Bank of Vietnam has acted to further entice overseas banks by its promise to permit wholly foreign owned banks to operate from 1 April last year.
The move enables foreign banks to compete on a level playing field with domestic banks, with rights such as issuing unlimited credit cards and opening new branches.
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia , the IBK of the Republic of Korea and the Fubon bank of Taiwan have all recently been given the go ahead to open new branches by the State Bank of Vietnam.