RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Korea

Korean regional banks look to SEA for growth

DGB Financial Group is aiming to open a bank branch in Vietnam.

Regional lenders in Korea are betting on Southeast Asia for expansion amidst a saturated domestic market, reports The Korea Times.

Daegu-headquartered DGB Financial Group revealed plans to open a bank branch in Vietnam after applying for license. A spokesman from the bank noted that DGB Daegu Bank acquired Cambodia's Cam Capital Specialised Bank in 2018 whilst DGB Capital launched DGB Laos Leasing Company in 2016.

"We are looking for opportunities in Vietnam as Shinhan Bank did there. There are a lot of cultural similarities between Korea and Vietnam. This is one of the reasons we are seeking to launch services there," a DGB spokesman said.

Also read: Foreign banks flock to Vietnam

Meanwhile, JB Financial Group’s Jeonbuk Bank acquired Cambodia's PPC Bank in 2016 to provide loan services to local retail customers and SMEs. For its part, BNK Financial Group’s Busan Bank kicked off its Vietnam branch in 2016. It added that BNK Capital has ventured into microfinancing and leasing in Myanmar and Cambodia.

Data from the Korea Federation of Banks noted that there are 164 branches and offices of Korean financial companies in Southeast Asian markets.

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