With our deep understanding of ASEAN, we provide strategic expertise to local businesses and markets. In 2022, we supported the expansion of clients across a wide range of key growth industries including real estate, consumer staples and discretionary, industrials and technology.
Fostering links between ASEAN and Greater China is also a key part of our strategy, as we seize new opportunities that will arise with Greater China playing an increasingly significant role as the economic engine of Southeast Asia.
Due to rising labour costs and supply chain issues, companies are starting to adopt a ‘China Plus One’ strategy to base their operations in an ASEAN market in addition to those in Greater China. We are well-positioned to partner them, facilitating investment flows by providing efficient, customised and sustainable cross-border financial services.
Our cross-border revenue
Income from cash management and
trade finance mandates
Revenue from sector-specific solutions
Discussions at our Gateway to ASEAN conference in October 2022 covered trade, sustainability and other business topics.
Catalysing cross-border financing
In January 2022, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC), one of the world’s largest construction groups, to explore deeper collaboration in cross-border financing and investments. With CRCC expanding its ASEAN footprint, we are connecting the company to local business communities to facilitate its expansion.
We also partnered Korea Housing Finance Corporation (KHFC) to help the state-owned company expand its footprint in ASEAN. Our MOU with KHFC, signed in May 2022, covers three main areas: investment banking; treasury services; and environmental, social and governance financing.
“UOB China is a trusted partner for CRCC. We appreciate the Bank’s commitment to supporting us every step of the way as we expand our business across the border. To further our collaboration, we will carry out more strategic dialogue and communication at our headquarters and work seamlessly in each market to ensure our projects are rolled out smoothly.”
Mr Wang Xiuming
Standing Committee Member of the Party Committee and Chief Accountant, CRCC
We partnered the KHFC to help the state-owned company expand its footprint in ASEAN.
Opening new doors for trade and investment
With 10 dedicated centres across Asia, our FDI Advisory Unit has been strengthening its strategic collaborations with government agency partners, business associations and professional service providers. These links serve to support our clients in navigating the complexities of venturing abroad.
Since 2011, our FDI Advisory Unit has supported more than
companies with their cross-border expansion into Asia.
Companies we have supported since 2014 are projected to invest more than
and to enable the creation of more than
job opportunities, largely across ASEAN and Greater China.
Mr Nurul Ichwan, Indonesia's Deputy Minister for Investment Planning (second from left), highlighted his country's investment opportunities to interested companies.
“Thank you UOB for organising such a meaningful dialogue with BKPM. We plan to expand our business in ASEAN, including Indonesia. The local contacts and ground knowledge in this exciting market definitely benefit companies like us and we would like to stay in touch with UOB to explore regional opportunities.”
Mr Wallace Chen
Finance Director, CDNetworks Global
In March 2022, we co-organised the sixth edition of our flagship ASEAN Conference, which was held as part of the Singapore Apex Business Summit. More than 800 participants attended the conference physically and virtually, with the majority from the Asia Pacific region.
During the conference, we facilitated a closed-door dialogue session for companies from Greater China and Singapore with Mr Nurul Ichwan, Deputy Minister for Investment Planning, Republic of Indonesia, as well as officials from Indonesia’s Ministry of Investment (BKPM).
Leveraging sector expertise and facilitating transactions
We provide trade financing, financial supply chain management, cash management as well as sector-specific solutions.
The sectors we focus on are:
Construction and Infrastructure;
Real Estate and Hospitality;
Technology, Media and Telecommunications;
Oil, Gas and Chemicals;
We provide companies with the capital and liquidity for their operations and growth, while helping them manage collections and counterparty risks. We also create bespoke solutions targeted at the entire ecosystems and value chains of these sectors.
UOB sector experts are regularly invited to trade and association events as speakers or panellists to share deep sector insights and sector outlooks.
In 2022, income from cash management and trade finance mandates grew by 26 per cent, while revenue from sector-specific solutions increased by 21 per cent.
Expansion into Malaysia
We supported KOSDAQ-listed semiconductor part manufacturer Simmtech Group as their banking partner in ASEAN. We connected the company’s local partners and supply chains, paving the way for a manufacturing facility at Batu Kawan Industrial Park, Penang. The facility, opened in May 2022, employs more than 1,200 people.
Simmtech announced expansion plans for this plant in early December 2022, creating potentially 400 new jobs.
The opening of Simmtech’s facility at Batu Kawan Industrial Park, Penang.
Simmtech’s facility employs more than 1,200 people, and its expansion will help create another 400 jobs.
“Simmtech Group has benefitted from the tremendous support offered by UOB, which has an extensive network in Southeast Asia as well as local insights and expertise. We look forward to working closely with UOB as we localise supply chains and grow our manufacturing footprint in the region.”
Mr Jeffery Chun
Managing Director, Simmtech Southeast Asia
Expansion into Indonesia
We assisted Linaco Group, a leading producer of coconut-based products in Malaysia, as it expanded into Indonesia through the acquisition of a new factory in 2021. In the process, we helped Linaco streamline its financial operations across both markets.
Linaco’s factory became fully operational in 2022, creating 1,000 jobs in West Kalimantan.
“When we shared our plans for expansion in Indonesia, the UOB team did the verification of a partner (a processing plant in Kalimantan) and they paved the way for Linaco’s new factory. … Banking with UOB for almost three decades, we know that they are not ‘sunshine bankers’. They have seen us through good times and bad times, and with them, our finances are in good hands.”
Mr Joe Ling
Group Executive Director, Linaco
Expansion into ASEAN and China
In August 2022, we signed an MOU with China Mobile International to explore providing financial and digital connectivity for companies expanding into ASEAN or China. We will also cooperate in consumer digital financial services.
This MOU will enable our clients to tap both UOB and China Mobile International’s key network strengths and resources, including cross-border connectivity, regional networks, big data, cloud computing, blockchain and other technologies.
Our MOU with China Mobile International will provide financial and digital services to support companies’ expansion plans.
Expansion in Singapore
We financed Singapore steel company Toptip Holding’s acquisition of NatSteel Holdings in 2021. We have been supporting Singapore-based NatSteel in its business of producing steel more sustainably, growing Singapore’s strength as a distribution hub for ASEAN.
“UOB has a deep understanding of the steel and construction industry and over the past decade, they have tapped their industrial expertise to support both Toptip and NatSteel with a full range of financial services. Therefore, we looked to UOB in financing this acquisition. Simply put, without the involvement of UOB, we would not have completed this merger so smoothly.”
Mr Liu Bin
Director, Toptip Holding and NatSteel Holdings