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JB Financial acquires brokerage in Vietnam, expands in ASEAN region

JB Financial Group has acquired a Vietnam-based brokerage owned by Morgan Stanley, in line with its recent moves to expand business in the Southeast Asian region, officials said Monday.

The holding group of North Jeolla Province-based JB Jeonbuk Bank thereby became the first provincial banking group here to own a comprehensive overseas financial network comprising banking, capital and securities.

A public announcement was made Monday that JB Financial had recently signed a sales and purchase agreement to acquire a 100 percent stake in Morgan Stanley Gateway Securities.

Founded in 2006 and located in Hanoi, MSGS is a midsized brokerage that holds some 300 billion Vietnamese dong ($12.9 million) in capital and has logged a net profit every year. The brokerage will be aligned as a subsidiary of Kwangju Bank, one of the group’s flagship banks.

Upon the latest acquisition, which brought the number of the group’s subsidiaries to seven, JB Financial has come to extend its financial belt in the Southeast Asian region, with business footholds in Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam, officials said.

JB Financial Group Chairman Kim Ki-hong (JB Financial)
JB Financial Group Chairman Kim Ki-hong (JB Financial)

Earlier in 2016, the group had acquired Phnom Penh Commercial Bank as a subsidiary of Jeonbuk Bank and also established a local subsidiary in Myanmar. This year, the Cambodian PPCB became the first Korean financial firm operating in Cambodia to surpass 10 billion won in half-year net profit.

After Chairman Kim Ki-hong took up his current post in April, the financial group raised its ordinary stock capital ratio to 9.62 percent in July and 9.83 percent for the third quarter, meeting the financial authorities’ requirements. Its progress has also boosted market expectations for overseas mergers and acquisitions.

“We have acquired the Vietnamese brokerage in order to diversify our revenues and create new profits in the future, as the local market has been growing increasingly competitive and slow in growth,” said Chairman Kim.

“We expect the latest acquisition to offer a new momentum for the group.”

By Bae Hyun-jung (