Woori aims to be best for­eign bank in Viet­nam

Korean lender opens 10th branch in Da Nang

The Korea Times - - FINANCE - By Lee Kyung-min [email protected]­re­atimes.co.kr

Woori Bank has opened a branch in Da Nang, Viet­nam, fur­ther ex­pand­ing its pres­ence in the South­east Asian coun­try, it said Fri­day.

The open­ing on Oct. 25, which fol­lowed ap­proval from the Viet­namese cen­tral bank a month ear­lier, is par­tic­u­larly sig­nif­i­cant as fi­nan­cial au­thor­i­ties there be­gan tight­en­ing rules in May to limit the num­ber of for­eign banks, Woori said.

The branch will han­dle busi­ness in­clud­ing cor­po­rate, in­vest­ment bank­ing and syn­di­cated loans.

Pro­vided by a group of lenders, a syn­di­cated loan is struc­tured, ar­ranged and ad­min­is­tered by one or sev­eral com­mer­cial banks or in­vest­ment banks.

“We will spare no ef­forts in in­vest­ment and sup­port to make our Viet­nam op­er­a­tion the best for­eign lender in the South­east Asian coun­try,” Woori Bank CEO Sohn Tae-se­ung said.

Woori will strengthen its re­tail busi­ness with lo­cals through mo­bile ser­vices up­dated with fea­tures to im­prove the user ex­pe­ri­ence, in­clud­ing easy-touse cus­tom­iz­a­ble lay­outs and fre­quently used func­tions that can be en­abled when cus­tomers shake their phones.

Other ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence-based credit check and lend­ing ser­vices, set to boost non-face-to-face trans­ac­tions, also will be avail­able.

Woori said three more branches will open — in Vinh Phuc, Ho Chi Minh City and Bien Hoa — by end of 2019, with five oth­ers to open by 2021.

“The en­hanced ser­vice will help the bank boost its pres­ence fur­ther in the coun­try,” a Woori of­fi­cial said.

“As mar­ket de­mand in South­east Asia will grow in the com­ing years, we will con­tinue to boost our ser­vices via closer co­op­er­a­tion to bet­ter com­pete there.”

Woori Bank’s as­sets in Viet­nam stood at over $1 bil­lion (1.28 tril­lion won) in June. Its lend­ing jumped nearly twofold, from 291 bil­lion won in 2017 to 517.4 bil­lion in June 2019.

Woori Bank Viet­nam re­ported a net profit of 2.4 bil­lion won in 2017, only a year af­ter it es­tab­lished its busi­ness there in 2016 with a net loss of 300 mil­lion won.

Net profit was 10.7 bil­lion won in 2018 and 10.1 bil­lion won in the first nine months of this year.

Woori Bank CEO Sohn Tae-se­ung, cen­ter, cuts a rib­bon with of­fi­cials from the bank and Viet­namese govern­ment at an event cel­e­brat­ing the open­ing of its branch in Da Nang, Viet­nam, Thurs­day.

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