Deutsche Bank steps up its Vietnam vigor

08:00 | 20/11/2014
Since it entered the country in 1992, Deutsche Bank has sought to strengthen its presence as a foreign bank branch in Vietnam. Jens Ruebbert, chief country officer and head of Global Transaction Banking told VIR’s Hoang Anh that the institution has indeed contributed to opening Vietnam to the global investment community.
Jens Ruebbert chief country officer and head of Global Transaction Banking

Do you envisage any business expansion in Vietnam in the short and medium term given that Vietnam is an important market for Deutsche Bank?

Deutsche Bank has a proud history in Vietnam. We first established a presence here in 1992, and have been operating a full-service branch in Ho Chi Minh City since 1995. Then in 2007, the bank re-established a representative office in Hanoi. Employing more than 80 staff, the franchise has grown from pure commercial banking into a multi-faceted investment banking operation. Deutsche Bank is very committed to developing its Vietnam franchise as a key part of its broad regional strategy. We aim to grow our corporate and institutional client base as well as to further widen our innovative product platform, servicing large multi-national companies as well as large local corporates across the full range of their requirements.

How does Deutsche Bank in Vietnam differentiate itself from other foreign banks operating here and across the region? Where are your key strengths?

Deutsche Bank already has considerable scale and breadth in the region with 18,000 employees in 17 countries including Vietnam. All of our global businesses are operating in Asia. We are a top-tier investment bank with a large corporate banking and transaction banking capability, as well as a leading asset and wealth management franchise.  The bank's depth of local and regional financial market participation is a key differentiator for us. In addition to our strong market business in Vietnam, our branch in Ho Chi Minh City and our representative office in Hanoi have traditionally had a strong presence in global transaction banking.  Our cash management, trade finance, risk management and domestic investor services work closely with multinational companies investing in Vietnam, in addition to major Vietnamese firms for their local operations and international expansion.  We’ll continue to build on these strengths going forward.

Economists are largely positive in regard to Vietnam's current economic situation, especially in terms of the nation's export value, inflation and interest rate cuts. What is your view on these issues?

We see terrific potential in Vietnam with strong interest from international investors as well as growth in our local clients’ operations.  Our forecast for 2015 GDP growth for the country is 6.2 per cent.  The Vietnamese economy is in a relatively stronger fiscal position as it continues on its journey towards macro-economic stability. With continued political stability, favourable demographics, and strength in foreign direct investment – particularly in the high-tech goods sector – Vietnam’s reputation is one of being friendly to businesses, and with a stable and improving economic environment. Vietnam is one of the fastest growing markets in the ASEAN region and has become an integral part of it.

What is your outlook for Vietnam's financial market activity in 2015? How do you see foreign investors responding to opportunities in Vietnam, and what industries seem most attractive at this juncture?

The financial markets in Vietnam have shown resilience against a backdrop of global market volatility, particularly given the current stage of relatively modest development.  There has been good progress but there is more to do, particularly with regard to developing debt capital markets.

The recent Deutsche Bank-led switch and tender offer by the government of Vietnam for $1 billion in sovereign bonds is a significant achievement and statement of intent by the government. We are very pleased, therefore, to be playing a key role in the development of this important domestic market and opening up of Vietnam to the global investor community – this is one of our key strengths.

We are convinced that the financial markets will grow with the general economic growth in Vietnam, in turn attracting more foreign investment into the country. The importance of the 14th Asia-Pacific Conference of German Business, which this year is being held in Vietnam, is a case in point as we will see a large number of German Corporates, many of them clients of Deutsche Bank, all looking for investment opportunities here.  These are indeed exciting times. 

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