Vietnam's best international bank 2019: 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.