Singapore-based United Overseas Bank (UOB) has secured an in-principle foreign-owned subsidiary bank (FOSB) licence from the State Bank of Vietnam, becoming the first bank in Singapore to do so.

The bank said that the licence will enable it to expand its footprint in the country beyond Ho Chi Minh City to other cities and make it “better positioned to broaden and to deepen its support for businesses and consumers in Vietnam as well as its regional clients investing in the country”.

Plans are on to launch a branch in Hanoi, which is Vietnam’s gateway to developing cities including Hai Phong, Quang Ninh and Hai Duong, the bank added.

Commenting on the development, UOB CEO and deputy chairman Wee Ee Cheong said: “We have had a longstanding presence in Vietnam and, given our regional network, have over the past two decades helped our clients across Asia to identify and to invest in business opportunities in the country.

“With the in-principle FOSB licence, we look forward to helping our clients realise the business potential in Vietnam, which is one of the fastest developing countries in Asia.”

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