BRANCH BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, Korea

S. Korea's IBK to serve 6 continents by year-end

Industrial Bank of Korea will open offices or cooperate with banks on all six continents by year-end, according to its CEO Cho Jun-hee.

The move is meant to support Korean companies doing business overseas.

“We will build a network across all six continents by the end of December to financially assist small and medium-sized companies,” Cho said.

IBK plans to sign an MoU with the Bank of China within the year so it can cover matters that can’t be handled by IBK in China.

Next month, IBK is set to open an office in New Delhi and sign an MOU with Australia and New Zealand Banking Group as a number of Korean companies are involved in natural resource development in Australia, which has large reserves of iron and coal.

Having inked a similar agreement with Germany’s Deutsche Bank early this month, IBK is also in talks to sign more of such MOUs with banks in Indonesia, Myanmar, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Spain and South Africa.

Cho said IBK does not plan to open more offices in Japan, where it has one branch in Tokyo.

IBK also sends middle-management staff abroad to work in foreign banks as part of mid- to long-term preparations for future mergers and acquisitions overseas.

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