First Vietnamese bank opens representative office in Russia

By Toan Dao   May 20, 2016 | 11:59 am GMT+7
First Vietnamese bank opens representative office in Russia
At a BIDV branch. Photo by BIDV

State-run Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) has set up a representative office in Moscow, becoming the first Vietnamese bank to establish a commercial presence in Russia, BIDV said in a statement on May 19.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who was in Russia during his first foreign visit, attended a ceremony to mark the opening of the office on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Reuters quoted Russia’s central bank as saying that BIDV is working with Russia’s VTB Bank on a pilot project aimed at arranging payments between Vietnam and Russia in their national currencies. BIDV is the co-founder of the Vietnam-Russia Joint Venture Bank, the only bank with Russian capital operating in the Southeast Asian nation.

According to BIDV, the two banks launched their bilateral payment products and services in November 2015 with the goal of building a bilateral payment channel and card connections in the local currencies.

The Vietnam National Financial Switching Joint Stock Co. (Banknetvn) and Russia’s National Payment Card System (NSPK) are also in the process of finalizing the fundamental principles of card connections. It is expected that cards will be accepted at ATMs and POS systems between Vietnam and Russia in the fourth quarter of this year, BIDV said.

Vietnam and Russia have signed numerous economic agreements during the Vietnamese prime minister’s visit. They hope to boost two-way trade to $10 billion by 2020 from around $2.2 billion currently.