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August 16, 2008

Vietnam-Russia Bank to open unit in Moscow

Vietnam-Russia Bank (VRB) has received a approval from the State Bank of Vietnam to establish a 100-percent owned bank in Moscow, Vietnam’s first investment in an overseas bank, said Reuters on Friday.

Reuters quoted the Vietnamese central bank as saying in a statement that the Hanoi-based VRB would still need a licence from the Planning and Investment Ministry of Vietnam before opening the unit in Moscow.

Vietnam Russia Bank is a $62.5-million unlisted venture, 51 percent owned by the Bank for Investment and Development,

Vietnam’s second-largest, and 49 percent by VTB, the second largest lender in Russia formerly known as Vneshtorgbank.

The venture bank said on its website (www.vrbank.com.vn) it also plans to establish a domestic network to cover major cities and also aims to do business in Ukraine and Poland, but gave no timeframe.

The venture became operational in late 2006, when Russian President Vladimir Putin was in Hanoi for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

It is the only venture bank to have a non-Asian partner among Vietnam’s six such businesses. Vietnamese banks run other ventures with banks from Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, South Korea and Thailand.

Vietnam-Russia Bank said its total assets reached $228 million at the end of June, up 25 percent from the end of 2007.

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