(Latest Update June 03, 2010) - Lao Embassy

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Jun 3, 2010 ... BCEL opens service unit in Xanakham. Residents of Xanakham district, Vientiane province, are enjoying easier access to financial services ...
BCEL opens service unit in Xanakham Residents of Xanakham district, Vientiane province, are enjoying easier access to financial services after a leading commercial bank opened a service unit there. Banque pour le Commerce Exterieur Lao (BCEL) opened a new service unit in the district at the end of last month to help boost local investment, production and the economy. The opening of this unit is part of the bank's strategic plan for expanding services to local areas, aiming to provide modern banking services and funds for robust socio-economic development. According to BCEL, before opening the service unit in Xanakham district, bank officials made an extensive investigation t hrough feasibility studies and found a great deal of economic potential. The district has developed rapidly and has received assistance from many sectors. These factors led to the bank's decision to set up the service unit in this area . The district is located on the west bank of the Mekong River, about 180 km from the provincial capital. The main potential in the district is in farming production and border trade. The bank's new unit uses modern technology to provide a wide range of services such as currency exchange, local and international ATM services, deposits, and salary payment via bank transfer. The opening ceremony was attended by Xanakham district Governor, Mr Soulisak Asakittikhoun, and officials from the Bank of the Lao PDR and BCEL. The bank currently has 16 branches, 16 service units and 9 currency exchange service offices around the country. BCEL is based in Vientiane and according to the bank's website has over 100 correspondent banks worldwide. The bank embarked on a joint venture with the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam to set up the LaoViet Bank in 1999 and established the Lao-Viet Insurance Company. BCEL opened gold trading on the international market through bank accounts in October last year and also issues international Visa cards. In December 2009, the bank set up a credit company and will cooperate with KTZMICO Company of Thailand to set up a security company to operate a stock business in the Lao stock market, which is expected to open at the end of 2010. The two sides have reached a joint venture agreement. The bank was established at the same time as the Lao People's Democratic Republic at the end of 1975, and has been operating since 1976. It became a full commercial bank in 1989.

By Times Reporters

(Latest Update June 03, 2010)