While Singapore reigns supreme in The Banker’s Top 100 Asean Banks ranking, banks from a number of south-east Asian countries are showing impressive gains as the region’s profile grows. Kimberley Long reports.

Singaporean bank DBS has held onto its top billing in The Banker’s Asean Top 100 Banks ranking, posting a massive $32.4bn in Tier 1 capital in 2017. Compatriots United Overseas Bank and Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation round out the top three, though they trail DBS, with $24bn and $22bn in Tier 1 capital, respectively.

Overall, Indonesia has the highest number of banks in the ranking, with 26 institutions recording an aggregate of $69.6bn in Tier 1 capital. However, Singapore has again punched way above its weight, with the city-state’s five banks boasting a collective $80.9bn in Tier 1 capital, a 15.9% increase on last year’s ranking. 

Developing nicely

While Singapore continues to be the region’s big success story, interesting narratives are emerging elsewhere in the Asean region, with developing market banks showing the most impressive rates of growth.

HSBC Bank Indonesia enjoyed a year of success following a merger with HSBC’s foreign bank branch office in Indonesia in April 2017.  The newly merged bank is ranked first in Asean for Tier 1 capital growth (up 173.4%), assets growth (up 277.6%) and pre-tax profits (up 1014.7%). Overall, the bank recorded $1.1bn in Tier 1 capital in 2017, and takes 60th place on the Top 100 list. 

While a big success for the growth of the bank brand, HSBC Bank Indonesia still lags some way behind the country’s highest ranking bank. Bank Mandiri takes sixth place overall, with Tier 1 capital of $11.6bn, an 11.1% increase on last year’s ranking. Thailand’s Land and Houses Bank also saw a huge jump in Tier 1 capital, rising 124.8% to $1.04bn. 

Philippines on the rise

Although the Philippines only has 12 banks in the Top 100 ranking, it is a market to watch. The country’s banks notched up a combined increase of 19.5% in Tier 1 capital to $22.8bn in the 2017 review period. While the numbers are modest, it is the biggest increase of any of the countries in the ranking. The country’s top ranking bank, BDO Unibank, climbs one place to 17th this year, after seeing Tier 1 capital increase by 37.3% to $5.3bn.

At the other end of the scale, Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam is the only bank to make the list from Brunei, but it has seen significant losses over the past year. 

The bank’s Tier 1 capital fell 8.2% to $783m in 2017, and its overall placing in The Banker’s Top 100 ranking drops from 61st to 73rd.

Cambodia has also suffered problems, as its two banks saw their combined profits slump by 14.5% to $206m in 2017. Acleda Bank and Canadia Bank did, however, see their combined Tier 1 capital rise by 4.7% to $1.1bn. 

ASEAN 2019


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