Local Vietnamese media had earlier reported that ANZ is looking to exit its retail banking operation in Vietnam.
This decision comes after the sale of its wealth and retail operations in Singapore, Hong Kong, mainland China, Taiwan, and Indonesia to Singapore’s DBS Group for US$80 million.
Earlier reports have previously discounted moves to withdraw from the retail markets not included in the DBS Group transaction, stating that countries like the Philippines and Cambodia among some, were the fastest growing businesses in the region.
However, the company has reevaluated the decision and last month the Chief Executive Officer Shayne Elliott said that the group will also be looking to exit businesses in the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.
The reason behind its exits, according to ANZ was so that it could strengthen its core and focus on the capital markets, bond markets, cash-flow management, corporate and investment banking, among others.
“Our strategic priority is to create a simpler, better capitalized, better-balanced bank focussed on attractive areas where we can carve out winning positions,” ANZ said when filing with the ASX last year.
Besides, the sales and restructuring of Australian banks’ Asia operations also follow the Australian government reformation to banking policies which covers class-one capital, and banking retail activities such as real estate trading.
Up to five local and foreign lenders have expressed interest, one of which is Vietnam International Bank (VIB) who is looking at the possibility of purchasing the Melbourne-based bank’s retail business in Vietnam.
Among the first foreign banks to enter Vietnam, ANZ firstly opened a branch in Hanoi back in 1993. Since its inception, it has grown its original team of 28 employees to 550 now, operating in eight locations across Vietnam, including Ho Chi Minh City.
VIB Bank, on the other hand, is touted the fastest growing retail banker in Vietnam, according to the Global Banking and Finance Review. It provides a range of services and online banking operation known as MyVIB.
By Vivian Foo, VCNewsNetwork