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South Korean banks ramp up expansion plans in Vietnam

South Korean banks are quickening their advance into Vietnam with the number of South Korean companies doing business in the Southeast Asian country exceeding 6,500, Yonhap News Agency reported May 17.

Shinhan Bank Vietnam Ltd., the Vietnamese unit of Shinhan Bank Co. Ltd., recently added four more branches in May to bring the number of its branches to 30, with 1,500 employees. The lender, which absorbed the local retail banking franchise of Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in 2017, plans to open four or five more branches in 2019.

Woori Bank Vietnam Ltd., the Vietnamese arm of Woori Bank, plans to increase its branches from three to nine in 2018, and to 20 in the longer term, the report said.

KB Kookmin Bank, which has a branch in Ho Chi Minh City, is seeking to upgrade its office in the capital city of Hanoi to a branch. Its expansion plan also includes acquiring a local bank.

Industrial Bank of Korea, which has two branches in Vietnam, and NongHyup Bank, which has one, are seeking to set up subsidiaries in the country.

Meanwhile, KEB Hana Bank will use its two branches to build market share, Yonhap News Agency noted.

Further, among the regional banks, BNK Busan Bank Co. Ltd. and Daegu Bank Ltd. are each looking to open a branch in Hanoi for the first time.