Thu, Jul 18, 2019 - Page 12 News List

Fubon Bank in Vietnam posts 40% loan growth

By Kao Shih-ching  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank (台北富邦銀行) yesterday said that its Vietnamese operations saw annual loan growth in the first five months of this year grow 40 percent, thanks to increasing investments by Taiwanese and local companies.

The bank declined to reveal the total loan amount.

“Companies are seeking more funds for new investments within the next three to five years and we expect the demand for funds to continue to rise in light of their new investments or production expansion in Vietnam,” Stephen Chen (陳恩光), Fubon’s head of international banking group, told the Taipei Times by telephone.

Fubon has three branches in Vietnam, the highest number among Taiwanese lenders.

The bank in 2008 established its first branch in Ho Chi Minh City, and the other two in Hanoi and Binh Duong in 2010.

For the January-to-May period, the bank helped arrange or participated in four syndicated loans, ranging from US$100 million to US$200 million each, for textile maker Formosa Industries Corp (台灣興業), Vinmec International Hospital, Vietnam Electricity and Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corp (台塑河靜鋼鐵興業), Chen said.

Formosa Industries is a unit of Formosa Plastics Group (FPG, 台塑集團), while Formosa Ha Tinh is a joint venture by FPG, China Steel Corp (中鋼) and Nippon Steel Corp.

It is difficult for Fubon to compete with Vietnamese banks in loans denominated in Vietnamese dong, but it has an advantage when offering US dollar-denominated loans, as it has better credit ratings and can charge lower interests compared with local and other foreign banks, Chen said.

The bank’s Vietnamese operations have so far extended half of their loans to Taiwanese companies operating there and the other half to Vietnamese exporters, he said.

The three branches reported that net profit rose 35 percent from a year earlier in the first five months, thanks to rising fee and interest income, Chen said.

He did not provide exact earnings figures.

As the incomes of Vietnamese continue to increase, the bank would expand its focus to include personal loans and mortgages, he said.

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