Tue, Feb 15, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Lender opens second Vietnam branch

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff Reporter

First Commercial Bank (第一銀行), the banking subsidiary of First Financial Holding Co (第一金控), yesterday opened its second branch in Vietnam to further expand into the emerging market, the lender said in a statement.

The expansion came after the state-run lender opened a branch in Shanghai in December, in line with the group’s duel-base overseas expansion plan, the statement said.

Bank chairman Joseph Tsai (蔡慶年) personally opened the branch in Hanoi, Vietnam’s second--largest city, to serve Taiwanese businesspeople operating in the country, the statement said.

“First Commerical Bank now operates two branches in Vietnam in light of the market’s growing importance,” Tsai said. “The country is the second-largest overseas investment destination for Taiwanese investors after China.”

Taiwanese investments in Vietnam have exceeded US$20 billion, making Taiwan the largest foreign presence in the Southeast Asian country, Tsai said.

The new branch, coupled with the existing one in Ho Chi Minh City, will make corporate financing easier for Taiwanese customers, the statement said. The bank opened its first branch in Vietnam in 2003.

Cathay United Bank (國泰世華銀行), the banking arm of Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控), has one branch and two representative offices in Vietnam, in addition to a joint venture with VietinBank that has 35 offices.

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