CIMB Group will expand in Laos through its Thai unit as the two countries share a historical and trade relationship.
Unlike Myanmar or Cambodia where CIMB also plans to expand, the group believes it should use CIMB Thai to expand in Laos.
Subhak Siwaraksa, president and chief executive officer of CIMB Thai, said that the bank had been asked by the Malaysia-based CIMB Group to study the Laos market in order to open branches there.
Siwaraksa said CIMB Thai plans to set up the first branch in Vientiane and another branch in Savannakhet, which is an important trading location as it borders Mukdaharn in Thailand, Vietnam and China.
At the beginning in Laos, CIMB Thai branch would provide financial services for consumer banking before expanding to trade finance and investment banking to corporate customers.
In the Asean region, CIMB Group has no network in Laos, the Philippines and Brunei, while in Myanmar, CIMB Group has a representative office.
But CIMB Group chief executive Seri Nazir Razak said that the group would apply for a banking licence in Laos in its bid to cover the entire Asean market.
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