[KH Explains] Will LG Energy Solution be Tesla's 4680 battery crisis savior?
Gender Ministry on course for disbandment
US fighter jet drops fuel tanks into Yellow Sea in 'in-flight emergency'
Thailand asks S. Korea to toughen K-ETA screening after denied entries of its people
[Today’s K-pop] BTS’ Jungkook adds streaming record with ‘Standing Next to You’
Woori Bank accelerates overseas expansion
Southeast Asia to remain as strategy focus; Poland, Middle East full of potentialBy Song Seung-hyun
Published : Oct. 25, 2023 - 15:34
Woori Bank, one of South Korea’s top four commercial banks, has announced its plan to achieve up to 25 percent of its net profit from global sales by 2030.
“Woori Bank's global division reported a net profit of $340 million last year, and it has achieved an average annual asset growth of 9 percent during the last three years," Yun Seog-mo, Woori Bank's global business division head said during a press conference held at the bank's headquarters in Seoul on Wednesday.
"We plan to continue this growth trend and achieve additional expansion through mergers and acquisitions by 2030,” he added.
Last year, its net overseas profit accounted for 15.4 percent of its total net profit.
Yun especially emphasized the bank’s commitment to nurturing its three units in Southeast Asia -- Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia -- by investing more money in them. The three major units in Southeast Asia accounted for 43 percent of overseas net profit last year.
As of the end of September, Woori Bank operates 466 branches in 24 countries.
In the first half of next year, the lender plans to invest a total of $500 million in its Southeast Asian units -- $200 million each for Indonesia and Vietnam, and $100 million for Cambodia.
With the investment, the bank hopes to make its Indonesian unit one of the top 10 local banks, its Vietnamese unit a leading foreign bank, and its Cambodian unit one of the top five local banks.
Meanwhile, Yun also announced the bank’s plan to expand its presence in Poland.
The bank currently has a local office in Poland, and hopes to turn it into a branch.
"If it becomes a branch, we will be able to respond more quickly to the financial service demand of Korean companies in Poland, as we will receive higher credit ratings and lending limits from the Polish financial authorities," Yun said.
In particular, he emphasized that expansion in Poland will provide support for South Korea's defense industry, whose competitiveness President Yoon Suk Yeol had pledged to enhance.
Also, South Korea's arms exports hit a record high of 22.9 trillion won ($16.9 billion) last year, according to Morgan Stanley, as it signed major contracts with Poland to supply K2 tanks, K-9 self-propelled howitzers, FA-50 light attack aircraft, and Chunmoo multiple rocket launchers.
When Woori Bank obtains a license to operate a branch in one European Union country, it simplifies or exempts the licensing process for other EU countries, he added.
Additionally, Woori Bank aims to assist Korean companies hoping to be involved in Saudi Arabia's Neom City project, a massive initiative to create a state-of-the-art city near the Red Sea in northwest Saudi Arabia.
Led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, Neom City is a central component of “Saudi Vision 2030.” The project's total size is $500 billion, and Woori Bank plans to assist Korean companies through its existing branches in Bahrain and Dubai.
In advanced financial markets such as New York, London, Tokyo and Hong Kong, the lender will expand lending and investment banking services to major corporations with high credit ratings.
Yun also stressed the importance of risk management when executing the global expansion plan.
"When doing overseas business, a conservative approach may be the only option," Yun added.
He said the bank will monitor country-specific risk factors on a monthly basis, share information with relevant departments, and implement proactive measures.
For loans exceeding $1 million, the bank has a system to conduct mandatory inspections of the headquarters and branches, he added.
Health care crisis hits highest level amid doctor walkout
Medical services disruption escalates
S. Korea, US, Japan concur on 'stern' response to NK-Russia arms deal