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Finance

First custodian bank in Laos

Bank of the Lao PDR Deputy Governor Sonexay Sitphaxay, center, and Lao Securities Commission Office Acting Director General Saysamone Chanthachuk, third from left, presented Bangkok Bank executives with the country’s first full custodian banking license on Thursday.

BANGKOK -- Bangkok Bank, Thailand's largest commercial bank, has become the first bank operating in Laos to offer full custodian services, which include safekeeping, settlements, clearing of securities transactions, and asset management for institutional investors at the Lao Securities Exchange (LSX).

     The Thai bank announced on Thursday that the Laos Securities Commission Office of the central bank, the Bank of the Lao PDR, has granted Bangkok Bank's Vientiane branch the country's first operating license for custodian banking

     Bangkok Bank also joined the LSX on the same day. Prior to the launch of custodian services, the branch established a link to the Vientiane bourse to train local staff. The bank can manage investor funds, act as a proxy at shareholders meetings, and provide tax advice and foreign exchange services.

     The LSX opened in 2010 as a joint venture with the Korea Exchange. At present, only four companies are listed with a combined market capitalization of around 10.8 trillion kip ($1.23 billion). The Lao government is keen to attract more foreign investment and develop the bourse.

     Bangkok Bank said the new services are targeting institutional investors who "wish to keep their assets safe with a custodian that meets international standards".

     Bangkok Bank reports 28 years of custodian banking experience with both private and institutional clients. It provides safekeeping for all types of securities, "both scrip and scripless, with secure, modern and multiple instruction channels".

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