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 10 Jan 2009

Malaysia’s lender gets licence to operate in Vietnam

Hong Leong Bank, Malaysia's sixth-largest lender, has obtained a commercial bank licence in Vietnam, Reuters quoted the company as saying Friday.

"The State Bank of Vietnam has granted a licence to Hong Leong Bank to incorporate and operate a 100 percent wholly-owned commercial bank in Vietnam," the bank said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia.

The Malaysian bank said it is required to set up a bank with a charter capital of about 205 million ringgit ($58 million) within 12 months from the licence issuance date.

It said the Vietnam unit will be named Hong Leong Bank Vietnam Ltd.

"With the establishment of a bank in Vietnam, Hong Leong Bank will be able to tap into the promising and expanding market of Vietnam, which has a population of over 85 million people," it said.

Last year Maybank, Malaysia's largest bank by assets, bought a 15 percent stake in Vietnam's An Binh Bank for 327.1 million ringgit.

Other Malaysian companies that have significant exposure to Vietnam include builder Gamuda and property developer SP Setia after winning big construction and development contracts there.




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