CIMB Group has obtained approval in principle to offer banking services in Vietnam.
The approval by the central State Bank of Vietnam allows CIMB to establish and operate a wholly owned subsidiary, offering a comprehensive range of wholesale, commercial and consumer banking products and services to the nation of more than 90 million people and its clients across Asean.
With this approval, CIMB will embark on its plans to establish a branch network in the country. Its first branch in Hanoi is expected to be fully operational by the third quarter of 2016 as it expects to secure its full operating banking licence by then.
"We are delighted to receive the go-ahead from the State Bank of Vietnam," said Zafrul Aziz, chief executive of CIMB Group.
"This approval allows us to expand our presence in Vietnam, a country that has shown resilient growth, backed by a large, young population and growing middle class. With this foray into Vietnam, we will be able to further solidify our position as the leading Asean bank and offer the much-needed regional connectivity to intermediate |trade and investment flows.
"We also believe that the addition of a full banking licence in Vietnam is timely as the region welcomes the commencement of the Asean Economic Community later this year."
CIMB Group is Malaysia’s second-largest financial-services provider and one of Asean’s leading universal banking groups. It offers consumer banking, investment banking, Islamic banking, asset management and insurance products and services.
Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, the group is now present in nine of the 10 Asean nations (Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Brunei, Vietnam, Myanmar and Laos). Beyond Asean, the group has market presence in China, Hong Kong, Bahrain, India, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, South Korea, the United States and Britain.
CIMB Group operates its business through three main brand entities, CIMB Bank, CIMB Investment Bank and CIMB Islamic. CIMB Group is also the 97.9-per-cent shareholder of Bank CIMB Niaga in Indonesia, and 93.7-per-cent shareholder of CIMB Thai in Thailand.
CIMB Group is listed on Bursa Malaysia via CIMB Group Holdings. It had a market capitalisation of about 46.4 billion ringgit (Bt413 billion) as at June 30. The group has more than 44,000 employees in 17 countries.