|KEB Hana Bank CEO Ji Sung-kyoo|
By Park Hyong-ki
Hana Bank CEO Ji Sung-kyoo is moving to draw a roadmap to enter the North African region, the lender said Tuesday.
It is eyeing the energy and infrastructure sectors in North African countries such as Morocco and Algeria.
There, the bank could seek to provide project financing through its branch in France or through partnerships with European and African financial companies and manufacturers.
It could also enter the region as a financial investor in energy and infrastructure via a consortium.
"CEO Ji has a potential idea for the bank's business in North Africa. He has not yet drawn a concrete plan," said a KEB Hana Bank spokesman.
This comes as the chief executive was considering the next phase in the bank's globalization.
The bank has so far entered the United States, China, Europe and Southeast Asian countries, including Indonesia and Vietnam.
No local banks have yet entered or done any business in the North African region.
"The chief executive was contemplating where KEB Hana could aim for after entering China, Indonesia and India. Africa seemed to be the next logical choice," the spokesman said.
With extensive global experience, the CEO has indicated that he will concentrate on expanding overseas and digital transformation.
Prior to becoming the chief executive last March, Ji has developed his career focusing entirely on building KEB Hana's overseas ventures.
He headed the bank's Hong Kong branch and the China business team. Ji was the vice president of the bank's global business strategy before becoming the KEB Hana CEO, replacing Ham Young-joo.