Vietnam's best international bank 2017: HSBC
HSBC is the leading foreign presence in Vietnam. While some of its regional or global peers have scaled back their operations in the fast-growing economy in recent years, or left the market altogether, HSBC has solidified its presence despite selling its 19.41% stake in local lender Techcombank. Local bankers and analysts praise its stability and reliability.
The country’s leading corporates rely on its ability to provide world-class corporate and wholesale banking services. And its top-line domestic financials are impressive. HSBC reported a 47% rise in pre-tax profit in Vietnam of D1.8 trillion ($79.2 million) in 2016, with total outstanding lending rising 16% and net other operating income up 12%.
Its underlying strength is visible in its return on assets (2% in 2016, against 1% the previous year), return on equity (14%, against 9% the previous year), and non-performing loan ratio, which dipped under 1% for the first time last year. And its retail presence remains as strong as ever, with 15 branches nationwide employing 1,300 staff.
But it is the bank’s client list that, as ever with the British lender, really impresses. It’s a who’s who of the nation’s largest and best-run corporates, from fabric manufacturer Sunrise Luen Thai to apparel firm Hanesbrands, and from galvanized steel maker Hoa Sen Group (HSG) to Siam City Cement (SCC). Many have been with HSBC for years: Hanesbrands has been with the bank since 2007 and HSG since 2008.
HSBC is also an active financial services provider on so many levels: it increased its credit line to Sunrise, which makes garments for the likes of Ralph Lauren and Uniqlo, to $57 million in February 2017 and was sole financial adviser to SCC during its $875 million acquisition of a 65% stake in the local operations of Swiss cement giant LafargeHolcim in August 2016.