JB Financial to expand footprint in Vietnam, Myanmar, and Cambodia

22:18 | 02/03/2020
South Korea-headquartered JB Financial emphasised that it would actively pursue M&A opportunities overseas, including ramping up investment in Vietnam and its neighbours.

Headquartered in Jeonju, South Korea, JB Financial owns four subsidiaries – Jeonbuk Bank, Gwangju Bank, JB Woori Capital, and JB Asset Management. The firm now has a market cap of $855.8 million.

jb financial to expand footprint in vietnam myanmar and cambodia
Ki-hong Kim, chairperson of JB Financial, said the firm would increase its footprint in Vietnam, Myanmar, and Cambodia for overseas business

In a conference call last month, Ki-hong Kim, chairperson of JB Financial, said that the firm has an interest in overseas operations and the non-banking sector as the two largest axes for its expansion.

Previously, Kim also highlighted that JB Financial would increase its footprint in Vietnam, Myanmar, and Cambodia for overseas businesses. Hence, looking for potential tie-up deals is one of the most feasible ways to penetrate into these markets.

“Southeast Asian nations are growing fast, while their banking infrastructure is growing,” Kim said. “Korea’s banking industry has matured, so we should turn to overseas markets spearheaded by consumer finance services.”

According to The Investor, Kim believed a decent performance and a well-established network in Southeast Asian countries are of utmost importance to the firm’s strategies.

“Once we find the right time, we will definitely carry on M&A in Cambodia. Also with an office in Vietnam, we are waiting for chances to strengthen our lending business,” Kim added.

Last December, Kwangju Bank, a commercial bank subsidiary of JB Financial, purchased Morgan Stanley's Vietnam-based subsidiary Morgan Stanley Gateway Securities JSC for VND382.4 billion ($16.63 million), The Investor reported.

Kwangju Bank would also inject VND600 billion ($26 million) into the Vietnamese brokerage.

jb financial to expand footprint in vietnam myanmar and cambodia
Kwangju Bank, a commercial bank subsidiary of JB Financial, purchased Morgan Stanley's Vietnam-based subsidiary Morgan Stanley Gateway Securities JSC for $16.63 million

The successful deal is expected to pave the way for JB Financial to broker real estate and infrastructure investment in Vietnam for Korean investors.

Also, the firm plans to underwrite Vietnamese firms’ issuance of mezzanine instruments such as convertible bonds and bond warrants, as well as M&A opportunities through the acquired Vietnamese company.

By Luu Huong

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