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Thailand’s second largest bank to open first branch in Vietnam

Valerie Mai Valerie Mai

mnghonganh@gmail.com

February 10, 2021 | 07:37

Thailand’s second-largest lender by assets, Kasikornbank, plans to open a branch in Ho Chi Minh City in the third quarter this year.

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An employee counts Vietnamese banknotes at a bank in Hanoi. (Photo: VnExpress)

“Attention is now focused on Vietnam as a regional investment hub that has attracted the world’s leading companies – including those from Thailand – thanks to its strong economy,” said executive vice president Pattarapong Kanhasuwan, noting its recovery should be helped by the country’s success containing COVID-19.

The move comes as other Thai banks have expanded in Southeast Asia, said Reuters.

Kasikornbank’s new branch, which gained regulatory approval in January, will provide services to local customers, including Thai and foreign businesses investing in Vietnam. It is targeting lending of 10 billion baht ($333.11 million)in its first year of operations while investing in startups in digital technology, it said in a statement. Other services planned for the future include retail banking, such as deposits and personal loans. ($1 = 30.0200 baht) (Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng Editing by Ed Davies), according to The Star.

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Thailand’s second-largest lender by assets, Kasikornbank, plans to open a branch in Ho Chi Minh City in the third quarter this year. (Photo: Biz Prompt)

The new branch gained regulatory approval in January and plans to lend THB10 billion ($333 million) in its first year of operation. The bank will focus on Thai and foreign businesses investing in Vietnam and startups in digital technologies.

Thailand was the seventh-largest foreign investor in Vietnam last year with $292 million, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

Kasikornbank often stylized as KBank and formerly known as the Thai Farmers Bank is a banking group in Thailand. KBank was established on 8 June 1945 (2488 BE) by Choti Lamsam, with registered capital of five million baht. It has been listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand since 1976. On 8 April 2003, Thai Farmers Bank PCL changed its English name to Kasikornbank PCL (official abbreviation, KBank).

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Valerie Mai