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Banking & Finance

United Overseas Bank to set up Vietnam subsidiary

Released at: 19:59, 20/07/2017

United Overseas Bank to set up Vietnam subsidiary

Photo: UOB Vietnam

UOB the first Singaporean bank to receive in principle approval to establish a foreign-owned subsidiary bank in Vietnam.

by Hong Nhung

Singapore’s United Overseas Bank (UOB) announced on July 20 that it will be better positioned to provide stronger support to businesses and consumers in Vietnam as well as its regional clients investing in the country following the receipt of in principle approval from the State Bank of Vietnam to established a foreign-owned subsidiary bank (FOSB) the previous day.

The FOSB license enables the bank to extend its branch network beyond Ho Chi Minh City and to offer products and financial solutions to businesses and consumers located in other cities. It will also consider opening a branch in Hanoi, the gateway to rapidly-developing cities and provinces in the north such as Hai Phong, Quang Ninh, and Hai Duong.

Mr. Wee Ee Cheong, Deputy Chairman and CEO of UOB, said that the in principle approval marks the start of a new chapter for UOB in Vietnam. “We have had a longstanding presence in Vietnam and, given our regional network, over the past two decades have helped our clients across Asia identify and invest in business opportunities in the country,” he said. “We look forward to helping our clients realize their business potential in Vietnam, which is one of the fastest developing countries in Asia.”

Vietnam continues to be an attractive investment destination for many businesses. FDI inflows stood at $12.6 billion in 2016, an increase of 6.8 per cent compared to 2015, according to the World Investment Report 2017.

Since 2013, UOB has facilitated more than $3 billion in FDI from Asia into Vietnam, with its regional customers investing in industries such as construction, real estate, manufacturing, and fast-moving consumer goods, all of which have been helping drive Vietnam’s economic growth.

“With the FOSB license, UOB will be able to support more Vietnamese companies in their domestic and regional growth by connecting them to cross-border opportunities throughout our extensive network,” Mr. Wee said.

UOB will also be able to deepen its support to more Vietnamese companies in their expansion plans through business advisory services and financial solutions such as trade finance, cash management, and project financing.

To help nurture the development of Vietnam’s FinTech startups, UOB will draw on its expertise in the area of business development and innovation. One way in which it will do this is through The FinLab, a joint venture between UOB and SGInnovate set up to promote the growth of FinTech startups in Asia. UOB, in collaboration with The FinLab, will organize knowledge- sharing and networking sessions between promising Vietnamese startups and potential investors and industry experts.

UOB is a leading bank in Asia with a global network of more than 500 offices in 19 countries and territories in Asia-Pacific, Europe, and North America. Since its incorporation in 1935, it has grown organically and through a series of strategic acquisitions.

In Asia, UOB operates through a head office in Singapore and banking subsidiaries in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, as well as branches and representative offices throughout the region. 


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