M&A Wave from Korea to Vietnam Banking Sector

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The success of many Korean banks in Vietnam makes Korean financial investors pay special attention to Vietnam banking sector. Investment methods that are most interested by investors are mergers and acquisitions (M&A).

According to information from the National Financial Supervisory Commission, Hana Financial Group (KEB Hana Bank) is preparing to buy shares of BIDV Bank.

Thus, the wave of investment from Korea to Vietnam financial and banking sectors have not stopped. Since the beginning of 2018, two Korean investors have successfully acquired two financial companies in Vietnam: Shinhan Card acquired Prudential Finance and Lotter Card acquired Techcombank Finance. Including KEB Hana, in 2018, Vietnam financial markets will welcome at least three new members from Korea.

According to the Director of the Korea Financial Supervisory Commission, Korean banks and finance companies are strongly attracted to the Vietnamese market.

In fact, even Korean financial investors operating in Vietnam are very optimistic about the potential development of the market. According to Director of Woori Bank, the Government of Vietnam is making great efforts in bank restructuring phase II, applying Basel II to strengthen the banking environment and attract more foreign investors. This will open more opportunities for investors.

Talking about the way to invest in Vietnam financial market, according to experts, in the coming time, the granting of licenses to establish banks in Vietnam will be more difficult, therefore, Korean businesses want to invest in the Vietnam banking sector should pay attention to the form of M&A.

Vietnam’s financial market is very potential, but foreign investor’s ownership rate is restricted (not to exceed 20%). However, the Government has allowed investors to buy 100% capital of weak banks.

Currently, digital finance is booming in Korea. Many banks like K-Bank, Kakao Bank allow customers to do transactions without human help. Shinhan, Woori and other Korean financial investors also want to quickly cover the Vietnamese market with the support of technology.

For example, Shinhan Card has just acquired Prudential Finance, but soon expressed its ambition to break the consumer lending market. According to Director of Shinhan Card, their annual sales amounted to 9 trillion won (about 180 trillion VND).

On the side of investors, according to CEO of Shinhan Bank Vietnam – one of the most successful foreign banks in Vietnam, the retail sector in Vietnam has many opportunities, keeping up fast with digital. Therefore, Shinhan Bank’s strategy is to focus on retail development in parallel with digital investment. Korean banks have a lot of experience in digital banking, plus the cultural similarity is a big advantage when investing in Vietnam.

With the technological strength, plus the strong wave of investment, Korean financial investors are really becoming a serious competitor in the financial market of Vietnam.

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