CIMB Group, one of the leading banking corporations in Malaysia , said it is the right time to boost investment within Southeast Asia and enter the Vietnamese market.

Malaysian banks should take the opportunity to increase their presence in Vietnam as there are still not many players in the growing market, CIMB Group’s chief financial officer Kenny Kim said.

He added that the group’s strategy will focus on integrating its banks in the region by leveraging their strengths to build a leading universal banking franchise in South-East Asia .

Each of its operations in the region have achieved market leadership in various areas, including CIMB Niaga, which he said is now dominant in capital market franchising, Bank Niaga - strong in retail and corporate banking and Bank Lippo - a leader in transaction banking.

CIMB has around 36,000 employees working in 11 countries and territories around the world. Within the first six months of this year, its overseas branches contributed 22 percent of pre-tax profit to the company, compared to 12 percent in the same period in 2008./.