Standard Chartered firms up Vietnam’s integration to boost growth

London-based Standard Chartered Bank sees Vietnam’s strong efforts to embrace regional and global economic integration as a boost to its business in the country, where it is fully committed to investing in the nation’s growth through a robust and sound long-term strategy.

“Vietnam has showed signs of economic recovery and a transformation towards higher value economic activities. It is also becoming highly integrated into the world economy with its impressive export record and focus on various free trade agreements,” said Standard Chartered Vietnam CEO Nirukt Sapru. “Vietnam is strongly deepening bilateral ties with many countries. Lots of major global companies have already incorporated Vietnam into their supply chains, and many more are exploring the opportunity.”

Robust strategy

As Vietnam becomes a strong international trading nation, Standard Chartered continues to be a partner in helping businesses internationalize their customers and supply chains. The emerging markets bank plays a strong role in telling the compelling Vietnam story to international investors. Its role as the sole ratings advisor to the Vietnamese Government and many governmental delegations it has supported across the world continues to help drive inward investments into Vietnam.

The bank continues to participate in Vietnam’s development process, working with the government, regulators, investors, businesses and people to further strengthen the Vietnamese economy, help Vietnam benefit from global and regional trade, grow the banking sector and provide more people and enterprises with access to financial services.

Nirukt Sapru said Standard Chartered will continue to support large and small businesses and retail clients in Vietnam. The bank’s desire to be a catalyst for socio-economic development sits at the heart of the bank’s business strategy and is reflected in its brand promise, to be Here for good.

Best Foreign Bank and more

From London, having recognized the bank’s excellent performance and its focus on innovation and strategic advancement, Global Banking and Finance Review has named Standard Chartered the Best Foreign Bank in Vietnam in 2014 and 2015.

“Winning the award for two consecutive years is a testimony to the strength of our business, our staff’s efforts and most importantly, the trust that our clients and customers have in us,” said Sapru. “We are humbled that the services we provide to our clients and customers are rewarded with the recognition by the financial press and award bodies. This recognition will inspire us to an even greater level of services and commitment to all our clients and stakeholders.”

Also from London, International Finance Magazine has underscored the bank’s brand promise by naming it Best Corporate Social Responsible Bank in Vietnam 2015. Standard Chartered has spent more than US$1.5 million for its various community programs in the country during the last two years. The bank carries out a robust global employee volunteering scheme which offers every employee a three-day paid leave. In 2015, the Vietnam staff volunteered nearly 1,000 days.

The bank’s biggest program, Seeing is Believing, which tackles preventable blindness, was launched in Vietnam in 2004 and has benefited thousands of children. It is currently at phase five with US$1 million spent to bring eye care services to more rural and remote areas. For 2016-2018, the bank will invest US$2 million to support people in the northern region and the Mekong Delta.

In addition, the bank’s global program “Goal” was launched in Vietnam last year to provide financial education, life skills and employability training to 8,000 adolescent girls. The US$220,000 and three-year project aspires to empower the young girls to play a more active role in their communities.

Late in 2015, Standard Chartered Vietnam was awarded titles “Best Bond Deal,” “Best Corporate Bond,” “Best Bond House” and “Deal of the Year” by The Asset magazine. The awards recognize the bank’s leading role in providing strategic and robust advisory services to both the government and clients.

The first award recognizes the bank’s prominent role in helping the Vietnamese Government in its issuance of the 10-year dollar-denominated global bonds last year. The bank served as a joint lead arranger in this issue. This transaction marked Vietnam’s first return to international capital markets since 2010 and achieved multiple highlights including being the lowest coupon bond ever issued by Vietnam, its debut liability management exercise, and one of the largest order books ever amassed for a single-tranche Asian sovereign issuance.

The second is for the bank’s having acted as Issuing Agent for a major Vietnamese consumer goods company’s first 10-year bond issuance worth approximately US$100 million. “The Deal of the Year” title recognizes the bank’s role as the financial advisor for the US$370 million sale of a Vietnamese company’s snacks and confectionery business to an American multinational conglomerate. This was the largest transaction in Vietnam’s F&B sector last year.