In March, the State Bank of Vietnam’s (SBV) Governor authorised Sacombank to convert its branch in Laos into a separate bank. The SBV requested the bank to start operations within 24 months, otherwise the SBV authorisation will expire.
Sacombank Lao now has the total chartered capital of $39 million.
In December 2008, Sacombank opened a branch in Vientiane, becoming the first Vietnamese joint stock bank in Laos. As of the end of November 2012, the branch’s total assets stood at $95 million with total deposits reaching $80 million and lending $59 million. By then it served 2,400 Lao customers and firms.
Sacombank currently has 417 branches and offices in 48 cities and provinces nationwide, as well as two 100 per cent owned banks and nine branches in Laos and Cambodia.
Laos is considered a traditional market of Vietnamese banks. Earlier, the SBV authorised the Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and the Trade and Military Bank to open wholly-owned subsidiaries in Laos by upgrading their existing branches.
Besides Laos, Cambodia is also a target market for Vietnamese banks, considering the current presence of BIDV, Sacombank, Agribank, MBBank and SHB in the country.