Korea-based Hana Bank plans to upgrade its Ho Chi Minh City representative office into a branch, its president Kim Jeong-tae said.
He had expressed interest in setting up operations in Vietnam at a recent meeting with senior Vietnamese financial officials, Korea’s JoongAng Daily reported.
But the approval may not be given this year, he told the newspaper.
"I want Asia to be our stepping stone to the global market," it quoted him as saying.
"Though Vietnam is currently struggling with difficulties, including high inflation, conditions are likely to get better and investments from Korea are expected to increase."
To open a branch in Vietnam, foreign banks have to foreign banks must meet legal conditions of Vietnam in three consecutive years and have a total property worth of US$ 20 billion in the fiscal year before applying for the license.
They must be experienced in international performance, ranked at least among the average and stable group as classified by international prestige grading organizations, and capable to ensure financial commitments and normal performance even in disadvantaged economic conditions.
They must have a minimum capital safety of 8 percent and other safety standards.
Korea’s Shinhan Bank and Kookmin Bank have branches in Vietnam.
In 2008 Hana Bank is a subsidiary of the Hana Financial Group, the fourth largest financial group in South Korea with assets of US$125 billion and the 93rd largest in the world.
It has branches in New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Qingdao and Shanghai (China).