Take acquisition route, Deputy PM tells South Korean banks

By Anh Minh   June 20, 2019 | 08:20 pm PT
Take acquisition route, Deputy PM tells South Korean banks
People pass a branch of Ocean Bank located at the Petrovietnam's building in Hanoi. Photo by Reuters/Kham.
South Korean banks desiring to enter Vietnam should acquire local lenders since new licenses are not in the offing, Deputy PM Vuong Dinh Hue said.

At a meeting with heads of South Korean banks and financial companies in Seoul Thursday, Hue said the Vietnamese government would not be licensing new banks until the end of 2020 since it is focused on restructuring the banking and financial system.

Instead, they could consider buying under-performing banks that are being restructured such as Ocean Bank, Vietnam Construction Bank, and Global Petro Commercial Bank (GPBank), he said.

According to its report to the National Assembly, the State Bank of Vietnam is actively restructuring the three lenders as well as Dong A Bank, while an option to sell Ocean Bank to foreign investors has been submitted to the government. The list of potential buyers has however not been made public.

Executives from Shinhan Financial Group and Alliex Company expressed interest in investing in payment services, cashless transactions and peer-to-peer lending in Vietnam.

Hue had said last year that the government would allow foreign investors to fully acquire the weak banks -- Ocean Bank, Vietnam Construction Bank and GPBank.

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