In Focus
RETAIL BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, Korea

Korea's Shinhan focuses on Asia for globalization

Focus on Asia for global expansion.

This is Shinhan Bank's strategy due to the region's big growth potential compared to advanced economies, the company said Monday.

The South Korean bank mentioned such emerging markets as China, Vietnam and India where the company has relatively better competitiveness.

The bank also seeks to enforce its Japanese business, where its key shareholders are based. Shinhan was established by Korea-Japanese businesspeople in the early 1980s who still own a combined 17 percent stake in Shinhan Financial Group, a parent company of the lender.

“It is part of our global strategy which seeks to establish a platform for new growth as the local financial market is almost saturated,” said the lender.

Shinhan has launched three overseas branches so far this year with two in China and another in Japan, extending its international network to 62 in 14 countries. In 2011, the lender opened six branches in four countries, two in Japan and Vietnam, respectively, and one each in China and Cambodia. The lender said it will keep up the pace next year.

About 5 percent of the bank's revenue came from overseas markets in the first half of this year, up from 3 percent in 2010. CEO Suh Jin-won vowed to increase the portion to 10 percent by 2015.

The bank has a three-pronged strategy to embed itself in overseas: to increase its influence with Korean companies doing business in the region; to attract local corporations in key cities; and lastly, to become a leading foreign lender by increasing its market share.

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