Vietnam key for HSBC priority

18:13 | 30/05/2006
HSBC has named Vietnam as one of its top priority markets in the Asia-Pacific region. “Vietnam is a huge potential market. It is one of the emerging markets in Asia-Pacific where we are deeply keen to expand our operations,” HSBC Asia Pacific president and CEO Michael Smith said after an informal shareholders’ meeting in Hong Kong last Tuesday.

International financial institutions are reaching out their hand to welcome Vietnamese business

Smith said HSBC’s year-on-year growth in Vietnam was greater than anywhere else in the Asia Pacific last year, but declined to give specific figures.
Smith and other HSBC executives said they were upbeat about the prospects for Vietnam, which has benefited from continued, strong economic growth over the past few years and from measures taken by the government to expand the local banking sector.
“As an international financial institution, we are pleased that we have a role to play in this fast-developing market,” said Vincent Cheng, chairman of HSBC Asia Pacific.
Eyeing Vietnam’s potential, Cheng said HSBC chose Vietnam to hold its board of directors meeting in September this year.
HSBC executives also said they fully support Vietnam’s accession to the WTO, as it will create a larger market and a level playing field for all participants in the financial market.
“As a global bank, we believe we are well positioned to tap potentials and scope with competition. Our objective is become a ‘quasi’ local bank in Vietnam. You certainly know that HSBC is ‘The world’s local bank’,” HSBC Vietnam CEO Alain Cany said.
In related developments, HSBC Vietnam has announced the third series of dollar certificates of deposit to be sold in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City at “an attractive committed interest rate” after two successful issuances.
Launched on May 22, the third tranche of HSBC’s scriptless dollar certificates of deposit will be available in Vietnam until July 21, with certificates being sold at face value and interest rates to be paid in maturity.
The certificates are non-transferable and minimum denominations are $5,000 for Hanoi-based customers and $10,000 for Ho Chi Minh City residents. Meanwhile, interest rates for corporations vary depending on the tenors and the denominations of the certificates.
HSBC, the first foreign bank launching certificates of deposit in Vietnam, was successful with its two previous issuances. The first of the series was in December last year and the second was completed on May 19.
“Our second launch of dollar certificates of deposit was a great success in that the revenue was double that of the first launch,” announced Ghislain Nguyen, HSBC Vietnam’s manager for personal financial services.
“This means we have effectively reached out to Vietnamese customers. As well as the attractive conditions our certificates of deposit offer, customers are assured that they are banking with a very trustworthy financial organisation,” he added.
The interest rates applied to dollar certificates on offer range from 3.95 per cent per year for the three-month term to 4.65 per cent per year for the one-year term. The certificates are sold via HSBC’s two branches in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
HSBC has grown into the largest foreign bank in the country in terms of investment capital, network, staff and customer base by acquiring 10 per cent of Vietnam’s third largest joint-stock commercial bank, Techcombank.

No. 763/May 29-Jun 4, 2006

By Hong Minh

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