Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK) is aiming to increase its presence in Russia and its neighboring countries by setting up an office in Vladivostok in step with the New Northern Policy of the South Korean government.
Early this month, IBK CEO Kim Do-jin visited Vladivostok to check the preparations for the opening of the bank’s local office next month. IBK resumes its business in Russia six years after it closed its office in Moscow in 2012.
IBK’s focus on Vladivostok, which is located at the eastern end of Russia, is because the city can be a channel for inter-Korean economic cooperation and it is a bridge to Europe. With President Moon Jae-in willing to launch inter-Korean economic cooperation projects on the premise of denuclearization, IBK as a state-run financial institution can take a leading role in supporting South Korean companies doing business with North Korea via Vladivostok, which is expected to become the center of the South Korean and Russian governments’9bridge Project for cooperation in the nine fields of gas, railway, port, power generation, North Pole Route, shipbuilding, industrial complex, agriculture and fisheries.
IBK expanded its global business mainly in Southeast Asia in the first half of this year. For example, IBK acquired Bank Agris in November last year and Bank Mitraniaga in April this year in Indonesia and the two acquired banks are scheduled to be merged under the name of IBK Indonesia, which is expected to form IBK’s Asia Belt with its business networks in China, Vietnam, India and Cambodia.