Vietnam's best domestic bank 2021: Vietcombank
The Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam, or Vietcombank, takes the award for Asiamoney’s best bank in Vietnam this year, thanks to its financial performance, asset quality and digital strategy during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Founded in 1963, Vietcombank began life as a currency-exchange operation. By 1990, it had become a leading commercial bank, well placed to take advantage of the economy’s surge in the coming decade.
The Vietnamese government had long kept a tight grip on key industries, but in 2008, it selected Vietcombank as the pilot for its privatization of state-owned enterprises. Vietcombank became a full-fledged, private sector bank a year later, listing on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange in a landmark $652 million IPO.
Under the leadership of its chairman, Nghiem Xuan Thanh, Vietcombank produced robust financials in 2020, and maintained its position as Vietnam’s largest commercial bank by market capitalization.
It is impossible to ignore the Covid-19 pandemic in any discussion about performance in 2020. However, Vietnam was able to keep the spread of coronavirus under control better than most countries, with an emphasis on contact-tracing and strict quarantine from early on last year.