Vietnam's best international bank 2019: Standard Chartered
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Vietnam's best international bank 2019: Standard Chartered

Standard Chartered

Nirukt Sapru, CEO, Vietnam and ASEAN and South Asia Clusters Markets, Standard Chartered.JPG
Nirukt Sapru, Standard Chartered

Standard Chartered first opened in Saigon in 1904, and likes to spin that is the longest-standing of international banks in Vietnam. Of course, there was a rather inconvenient – at least for the bank’s boosters – interregnum due to the war that ushered in a unifying communist government. But the bank likes to say it never formally withdrew from here, just that operations were put on hold for a while.

Such inconveniences have been put well into the past and StanChart’s veteran Vietnam country head, Nirukt Sapru, has positioned the bank as the go-to outlet for many of Vietnam’s largest foreign investors, and some large local corporates too.

Sapru claims 60% of Vietnam’s foreign investment funds bank with him, some 85% of local open-ended funds and 50% of funds traded on the local exchange. Sapru points out StanChart’s long-term commitment to the country by noting that the London-based parent increased the capital of its Vietnamese subsidiary by 35% during last year to D4.215 trillion ($182 million).

This year saw StanChart extend its in-country point-of-sale network for its cards to 3,000 outlets by tie-ups with Vietnamese domestic banks. 

The bank also partnered with emerging local fintech Payoo, an e-wallet payment provider, to enable customers to repay card and loan debts through Payoo’s 10,000-strong ‘touch point’ network nationally.

Sipru’s investment banking team also arranged a pioneering bond issue for big local hospital operator Hoan My Medical, a $100 million fund-raising backed by the Asian Development Bank, which was oversubscribed 2.5 times.