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Opening of Seoul branch
Francisco González: “Korea is a key market for BBVA in Asia”
BBVA Chairman and CEO, Francisco González, highlighted the importance of South Korea as a strategic market in Asia during his visit to Seoul to attend the opening ceremony of a branch in the Korean capital. BBVA is the first European bank to open a full-service branch in Korea since the start of the financial crisis.
The chairman of BBVA is currently in Asia. In his visit to Seoul he met the Governor of the Bank of Korea, the first vice minister of Strategy and Finance as well as other local authorities. At a press conference in Seoul, Francisco González emphasized the relevance of the new BBVA Korean branch. “BBVA has been following the Korean economy for a long time. With its high growth potential, Korea is a very prominent country in Asia and a key market for BBVA’s expansion plans in the region,” he said. The Korean economy is expected to expand 3.8% in 2012, according to BBVA Research.
BBVA’s presence in Korea dates back to 2006 when the bank opened its representative office, from which it supported the offering of financial services for corporate clients. The new branch will allow BBVA to widen its customer base to include corporations and institutional Korean investors. Seoul’s geographical location makes the new branch a strategic platform to serve clients in other countries of the region and take better advantage of the growing business flows targeting or originating in the Asia-Pacific markets. BBVA’s franchise in Latin America and its presence in Europe are key assets that contribute to the bank’s business development in Asia as a whole and in Korea in particular.
BBVA, a long history in Asia
BBVA started to build its franchise in Asia more than thirty years ago and today it’s present in the main financial hubs. The new Seoul branch joins BBVA branches already operating in Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo. BBVA also has representative offices in Taipei, Beijing, Shanghai, Mumbai and Sydney. Additionally, BBVA has a strategic partnership with China CITIC bank (CNBC) in mainland China, with a 15% stake, and with Hong Kong-based CITIC International Financial Holdings (CIFH), with a 30% stake. This presence allows BBVA to be the only European bank, with a leading position in Latin America, with full operational capability in Asia.
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BBVA is a customer-centric global financial services group founded in 1857. The Group has a solid leadership position in Spain, it is the largest financial institution in Mexico and it has leading franchises in South America and the Sunbelt Region of the United States. Overall BBVA is present in more than 32 countries, including China and Turkey. Its diversified business is biased to high-growth markets and it relies on technology as a key sustainable competitive advantage. As of December 2010, the Group had ¤552 billion in total assets, 47 million clients, 7,361 branches and 106,000 employees, a market capitalization of ¤34 billion and a recurrent attributable profit of ¤4.6billion in 2010. BBVA ranks among the leading Euro zone banks in terms of ROE and efficiency.