ASIA: Sale of Commonwealth Bank Australia’s Ho Chi Minh Branch to Vietnam International Bank

Australian-based bank, , Commonwealth Bank Group (CBA), has announced the sale of its Ho Chi Minh City branch to Vietnam International Bank (VIB), one of Vietnam’s leading bank for commercial joint stock. CBA commenced its banking activities in Vietnam back in 2008. Two years later, the bank established a strategic partnership with VIB where CBA acquired a proportion of 20% in VIB’s stake. General Manager of CBA Vietnam, Steve Ellis mentioned that this decision signifies CBA’s commitment to the Vietnamese market by strengthening the partnership with VIB and that it also demonstrates CBA’s confidence in VIB’s ability to continue providing high-quality customer service.

The approval of this sale was given by the State Bank of Vietnam and while the value of the transaction was not disclosed, the banks expect the sale process to be completed in the third quarter of this year. CBA will be contacting its customers to ensure a smooth transition of their banking relationship to VIB. Additionally, CBA’s representative office in Hanoi would be retained to serve as a liaison with the corporations, financial institutions, and government agencies in Vietnam.

"With the purchase of CBA’s Ho Chi Minh City branch which catered to the needs of about 20,000 customers, VIB will be able to tap on the increased customer base to grow its core retail banking business."

According to RFi Group data, VIB currently has a market penetration of 5% in Vietnam’s Retail Banking Sector (Vietnam Retail Banking Council, H1 2017) and with the purchase of CBA’s Ho Chi Minh City branch which catered to the needs of about 20,000 customers, VIB will be able to tap on the increased customer base to grow its core retail banking business.

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