MANILA, Philippines – CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, Malaysia's second largest lender, is keen on setting up a banking business in the Philippines as part of its growth strategy in Southeast Asia in anticipation of the ASEAN integration in 2015.
Reuters reported CIMB Group chief executive Nazir Razak said it is now studying regulations in the country.
President Aquino recently signed Republic Act 10641, which allows the full entry of foreign banks into the country.
The law will allow the Monetary Board to authorize foreign banks to operate in the Philippine banking system by acquiring, purchasing or owning up to 100 percent of the voting stock of an existing bank as well as investing in up to 100 percent of the voting stock of a new banking subsidiary incorporated under Philippine laws.
Aquino has defended the law, saying it is needed as the country prepares for the integration of ASEAN economies.
CIMB, the fifth largest bank in Southeast Asia, is also planning to get banking licenses in Vietnam and Myanmar.