ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
January 3, 2008
Foreign-invested banks and credit organizations in Vietnam reaped total pre-tax profits of over 2.4 trillion Vietnamese dong (VND) ($150 million) in 2007,up from 1.7 trillion VND ($106.2 million) in 2006, local newspaper Vietnam Economic Times said on Wednesday.
Branches of foreign banks alone gained pre-tax profits of 1.9 trillion VND ($118.7 million).
The assets of foreign banks' branches and foreign-invested credit institutions were more than 215 trillion VND ($13.4 billion) by the end of 2007, up 7.5 percent against 2006, and 60 percent over 2005. Their assets accounted for nearly 18 percent of the total assets of all commercial banks and credit organizations in Vietnam.
By the end of last year, Vietnam had received 19 applications for establishing branches of foreign banks, and five applications for forming wholly foreign-owned banks in the country. Vietnam has agreed in principle to permit Commonwealth Bank of Australia, IBK of South Korea, and Fubon of China's Taiwan to set up their branches in the country.
Under World Trade Organization commitments, from April 1, 2007,US and other foreign banks would be able to establish 100-percent foreign-invested subsidiaries in Vietnam. Specifically, US banks would be able to establish a 100-percent foreign-invested bank subsidiary, take unlimited local currency deposits from legal entities, and issue credit cards.
Prior to April 2007, Vietnam limited foreign banks to a minority shareholding position of 49 percent.
The country currently has 35 branches of foreign banks, five shareholding banks with the participation of foreign partners, four finance leasing joint ventures, two 100-percent foreign-invested finance leasing companies, and 50 representative offices of foreign banks, the newspaper said.