[Sponsored Report] KB Financial Group takes strides overseas

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[Sponsored Report] KB Financial Group takes strides overseas


After the opening of the first Japanese branch in Tokyo in 1992, KB Financial Group opened an Osaka branch of KB Kookmin Bank this month. By connecting the economic centers in Japan, the group can better provide financial services.

KB Financial Group is aiming to strengthen its global network by opening new overseas branches and forming partnerships with financial companies for joint projects to support Korean companies in entering the global market and secure a new profit source.

KB Financial Group will focus on countries that showed fast pace of growth like China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam, and will take into consideration of the regulation and business environment in place, to advance in the market with customized strategies in setting up branches, establishing corporate bodies and investing in shares.

The group has already opened three branches in China, in Guangzhou, Harbin and Suzhou. KB Financial Group is working to open a branch in Beijing in November and also establish a local corporate body in China, strengthening its market presence in the world’s second-largest economy.

KB Financial Group aims to broaden its international appeal as it supports Korean companies in China with loans and currency exchange, providing full financial services support. The group also aims to expand financial trade network with local companies, and with the fast pace of growth shown in the country, KB plans to open one to two new branches a year.

The group is working to establish partnerships with local banks, for instance, KB Kookmin Card recently launched ICBC KB Kookmin Be*Twin debit card, jointly created with Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). The card allows users to access accounts at ICBC without having to open a separate account with KB Kookmin Bank. Cash withdrawals and transfer services are also available at KB Kookmin Bank’s ATMs, while those with ICBC accounts can use the card as a debit card in Korea. The card allows Chinese citizens residing in Korea unprecedented convenience in financial transaction.

To better prepare for the uncertain economic environment, KB Financial Group started a joint research project with ICBC to hold a wide array of seminars, publish study findings and host researchers from both countries to study the financial market.

On other fronts down south and east, KB Financial Group is expanding to Vietnam and Osaka in Japan.

The group opened a Ho Chi Minh City branch in June last year and one in Hanoi in October, strengthening the business base within the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula. KB Kookmin Bank is providing a high-level financial service with advanced IT, risk management system and financial knowhow to the financial market in Vietnam.

The President & CEO of KB Kookmin Bank, Min Byong-deok, visited Vietnam in June and met with the Korean companies in Vietnam to help bolster local businesses and listened to their complaints and took suggestions.

KB Financial Group also opened an Osaka branch this month, following the Tokyo branch opened more than a decade ago, connecting the two economic cores of Japan to provide better financial services. With the opening of the Osaka branch, KB now has 14 overseas network - eight branches, three corporate bodies, two offices and one share investment - in 10 countries.

It recently signed an MOU with India’s largest private bank ICICI in June. Following the agreement, KB’s customers in India will be able to do their banking through ICICI from opening accounts to exchanging foreign currencies and even getting bank loans based on KB’s financial guarantee.

KB Financial Group’s executive said, “Communication ability and cultural sense of kinship are important for a successful overseas expansion. KB will work on expanding overseas network based on Asian region, which has a similar culture and emotion with Korea.”

By Lee Ji-hyun [concordia@joongang.co.kr]

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