Thai SCB to open branch in Vietnam; to take over Vinasiam Bank JV


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Siam Commercial Bank Pcl , Thailand's third largest lender, said it has received a licence from Vietnam's central bank to open a full branch in Ho Chi Mihn City as part of its expansion into one of Southeast Asia's fastest growing markets.
The approval was on condition that SCB would buy a combined 67 percent stake in the Vinasiam Bank joint venture from the Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development and Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group, SCB chief executive officer Arthid Nanthawithaya said in a statement on Wednesday.
SCB will spend $45.77 million to buy the stake, and the new branch is expected to be set up by early 2016, the statement said.
The Thai lender has operated in Vietnam for more than 20 years through Vinasiam Bank, in which it holds 33 percent. Vinasiam Bank's licence will expire on Dec. 31, 2015 and the Vietnamese central bank does not plan to extend the licence, the statement added.
SCB, 21.3 percent owned by the investment arm of the Thai royal family's Crown Property Bureau, will have 11 foreign branches and representative offices in eight countries after opening the new one in Vietnam, the statement said.

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