Vietnam’s partly private Sacombank, 10% owned by ANZ, said on Wednesday it has won a licence to open a branch in Laos, paving the way for the lender to expand services to neighbouring countries.
HCM City-based Sacombank, Vietnam’s sixth-largest lender by assets, said it planned to open the branch by the end of this year.
“Laos is a potential market due to its important geographic position to penetrate into other Asian markets such as Thailand, Burma, Cambodia and China,” it said in a statement.
Under Laos’ regulations, Sacombank, now valued at about US$660 million, is allowed to establish a wholly-owned subsidiary bank after one-year of its branch operation.
The bank opened a representative office in Nanning, China in January 2008.
Last month Sacombank also received approval from the National Bank of Cambodia to open a branch in Cambodia by early 2009.