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12 Oct 2008

Australia’s ANZ to set up bank unit in Vietnam

Vietnam has given the go-ahead for Australia's ANZ bank to set up a wholly owned subsidiary based in Hanoi, AFP quoted an official statement as saying Saturday.

ANZ will be allowed to operate in the communist nation for 99 years, an online statement by the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) said, citing a licence signed Thursday.

The bank, which has been operating in Vietnam since 1993, already has retail and institutional businesses in the country and holds a 10 percent stake in Sacombank, Vietnam's leading commercial bank.

In September, HSBC and Standard Chartered became the first institutions allowed to set up local banks.

Vietnam pledged to gradually open its banking sector when it joined the World Trade Organisation in 2007, but foreign banks have often complained it was doing so too slowly.

The country was once widely hailed as Asia's next economic tiger but has been battered by economic woes such as a surge in inflation and a ballooning trade gap.




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