A number of Vietnam’s banks are expanding their activities by opening their branches abroad.

The Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade (Vietinbank) will become the country’s first bank to make a presence in Europe with the opening of its branch in Frankfurt, Germany, scheduled for Sept. 6.

Chairman of the Board of Directors of Vietinbank Pham Huy Hung said the bank chose Germany to expand its activities as the country is Europe’s leading economic centre and a big trade partner of Vietnam where there is a large number of overseas Vietnamese.

Hung revealed the bank’s long-term plan to upgrade its branch in Frankfurt into a subsidiary bank and open more branches in the Czech Republic, Poland, the UK, France and other European Union countries.

Meanwhile, other banks have chosen Cambodia and Laos to open their branches, including the Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Agribank), the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) and the Sai Gon Thuong Tin Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Sacombank).

BIDV bought the local Prosperity Investment Bank Plc (PIB) and named the restructured bank Bank for Investment and Development of Cambodia PLc (BIDC). After opening its branch in Phnom Penh late July, 2010, BIDC opened another branch in Siem Reap province.

In May, 2011, the Sai Gon-Hanoi Joint Stock Commercial Bank (SHB) received the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV)’s permission to open its branch in Cambodia.

Apart from the presence of BIDV and Sacombank in Laos, the Military Bank (MB) has decided to invest 12 million USD to open its branch in Laos.

BIDV and Sacombank leaders have revealed their plans to open their branches in Myanmar, a potential market for economic and trade cooperation with Vietnam./.