|Woori Bank CEO Sohn Tae-seung, center, cuts a ribbon with officials from the bank and the Vietnamese government at an event celebrating the opening of its branch in Da Nang, Nov. 7.|
―Korean lender opens 10th branch in Da Nang
By Lee Kyung-min
Woori Bank has opened a branch in Da Nang, Vietnam, further expanding its presence in the Southeast Asian country, it said Friday.
The opening on Oct. 25, which followed approval from the Vietnamese central bank a month earlier, is particularly significant as financial authorities there began tightening rules in May to limit the number of foreign banks, Woori said.
The branch will handle business including corporate, investment banking and syndicated loans.
Provided by a group of lenders, a syndicated loan is structured, arranged and administered by one or several commercial banks or investment banks.
"We will spare no efforts in investment and support to make our Vietnam operation the best foreign lender in the Southeast Asian country," Woori Bank CEO Sohn Tae-seung said.
Woori will strengthen its retail business with locals through mobile services updated with features to improve the user experience, including easy-to-use customizable layouts and frequently used functions that can be enabled when customers shake their phones.
Other artificial intelligence-based credit check and lending services, set to boost non-face-to-face transactions, also will be available.
Woori said three more branches will open ― in Vinh Phuc, Ho Chi Minh City and Bien Hoa ― by end of 2019, with five others to open by 2021.
"The enhanced service will help the bank boost its presence further in the country," a Woori official said. "As market demand in Southeast Asia will grow in the coming years, we will continue to boost our services via closer cooperation to better compete there."
Woori Bank's assets in Vietnam stood at over $1 billion (1.28 trillion won) in June. Its lending jumped nearly twofold, from 291 billion won in 2017 to 517.4 billion in June 2019.
Woori Bank Vietnam reported a net profit of 2.4 billion won in 2017, only a year after it established its business there in 2016 with a net loss of 300 million won.
Net profit was 10.7 billion won in 2018 and 10.1 billion won in the first nine months of this year.