Woori Bank opens Hungary office
A Woori Bank Hungary office employee holds a signboard celebrating the opening of the office in Hungary’s capital Budapest, in this photo released Tuesday. (Woori Bank)
South Korea’s Woori Bank opened its first representative office in Budapest, Hungary, after financial authorities there last week granted the license to operate, the firm said on Dec. 7.
Woori said it plans to finance both Korean businesses that have entered the market and Hungarian businesses through the new office. Hungary has grown as a key destination for Korean businesses seeking to launch electric vehicle battery plants or auto parts manufacturing factories in recent years.
Woori’s latest move marks the second establishment of a representative office in the central European nation by a Korean commercial lender. Shinhan Bank -- the flagship bank under Korea’s No. 1 banking group by total assets -- opened its Budapest office in October.
Besides its recently established Budapest office, Woori Bank’s European network includes subsidiaries in Frankfurt, Germany and Moscow, Russia alongside offices in Katowice, Poland, London, England and Vladivostok, Russia.
“With our German subsidiary working as a European headquarters, we plan to build a network connecting the United Kingdom, Poland, Russia and Dubai,” a Woori Bank official said.
“The Budapest office’s key businesses will be financially supporting South Korean firms that have entered the market alongside investment banking deals and extending loans to Hungarian businesses,” the official added.
The state-run Industrial Bank of Korea is seeking to enter Hungary as well, with its CEO Yoon Jong-won having met corporate clients and “inspecting sites” in the central European nation during a business trip in late November.
Woori Bank’s accumulated net profit in the January-September period jumped 71.4 percent on-year to 1.98 trillion won ($1.67 billion), ranking third among Korean commercial lenders by net profit in the cited period.
By Jung Min-kyung (email@example.com)