Vietnam Bank for Industry and Trade (VietinBank) and the Petrolimex Group Commercial Joint Stock Bank (PGBank) signed an official merger document on May 22, thereby opening opportunities for the new bank.

With a total charter capital of nearly 41 trillion VND (1.889 billion USD), the new bank will rank first in the country's banking system in terms of charter capital.

Chairman of Vietinbank Nguyen Van Thang affirmed that the merger will help the bank boost capital, develop expanded branches, and foster retail services, in addition to stepping up lending and investment.

It also opened up new opportunities for VietinBank and Vietnam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex) to head strategic cooperation, which also benefited shareholders, customers, and the State, Thang said.

Following the merger, Vietinbank can enlarge its network with the help of PGBank's 16 branches and 63 offices nationwide.

As PGBank is a strategic partner of Petrolimex, Vietinbank will also capitalise on PGBank's significant competitive advantages, based on its network of 6,200 filling stations across the country, to enlarge its network to communes, Thang said.

He noted that following the merger, Vietinbank plans to become a banking and finance group, which will hold a key position in the domestic banking system and will have a size and capacity in line with those at regional levels. It will also look for gradual expansion to international markets.

In January, Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam Nguyen Van Binh urged Vietinbank, along with Vietcombank, to actively take part in the national banking reform process by handling weak lenders. This was also part of a general scheme to consolidate the two banks' positions in the market in the future.-VNA