NH Financial Chmn. Calls for Restructuring Portfolio to Brace for Low-Interest Era
Chairman Kim Gwang-soo of NH Financial Group poses with freshmen employees in a meeting in which Chairman Kim gave words of encouragement to them. (Photo: NH Financial Group)
NongHyup (NH) Financial Group Chairman and Chief Executive Kim Gwang-soo said in his Jan. 5. New Year speech that the group will strengthen its business by reorganizing its nonbank assets and seeking opportunities abroad.
Also, the group will use digital technology at its disposal not only to boost synergy among its subsidiaries but also to further provide customer convenience such as a complete 24-hour banking service.
This comes as Kim believes NH has fully established its capital base and the foundation to move toward the next stage of growth at home and abroad.
“It is now time to improve the quality of our business and secure new sources of growth for sustainability,” Kim told reporters at NH Bank headquarters in Seoul, where he celebrated his 100th day as the new NH chief.
NH Financial posted a consolidated net profit of 829.5 billion won in the first half of this year, up about 62 percent from 512.7 billion won a year ago. This marks the highest since NH transformed itself into a holding company in March 2012, Kim said.
The group’s net profit in the second quarter reached 439.4 billion won, up about 13 percent from a year earlier.
This is also the first time its quarterly profit exceeded 400 billion won. Given its strong finances, Kim said the group will boost its capability to mine and analyze massive amounts of data to enhance its customer services and develop new business.
“Our priority will include making inroads into overseas markets through strategic partnerships, and mergers and acquisitions,” the NH chairman said.
“We are looking to develop a business that no other financial companies can do related to agriculture and finance.”
The group is currently in talks to set up joint ventures with overseas entities, including China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives, the Myanmar-based HTOO Group and Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development.
Earlier this week, Kim held a strategic meeting with his executives to map out NH Financial’s potential overseas ventures.
NH Financial said it seeks to expand in the three key regions of Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia and Western Asia, which it calls the “Asia triangle cluster,” over the next four years.
By 2022 when Kim’s term ends, it is aiming to set up not only its financial but also agricultural beachheads in the regions through strategic ties and equity investments. Kim also discussed the possibility of drawing a plan to expand its financial business in North Korea as the two Koreas work toward reconciliation.
Kim was previously a commissioner of Korea Financial Intelligence, and general manager of the Financial Services Commission. He succeeded former NH chief Kim Yong-hwan in April last year.
NongHyup Financial Holdings opened South Korea’s biggest FinTech hub called ‘NH Digital Innovation Campus’ and it has started promoting 33 promising startups.
It announced that it held an inauguration ceremony of ‘NH Digital Innovation Campus’ on the 8th with about 200 people such as Chairman Choi Jong-gu of Financial Services Commission (FSC) , Chairman Kim Gwang-soo of NongHyup Financial Holdings, President Lee Dae-hoon of NongHyup Bank, Chairman Kim Dae-yoon of Korea Fintech Industry Association, and Chief Director Jung Yoo-shin of Fintech Center Korea in attendance.
NH Digital Innovation Campus is the largest (2,080 m2) digital zone out of financial industries established by NongHyup Financial Holdings to become a global digital financial group and it is comprised of Digital R&D Center and NH Fintech Innovation Center.
Digital R&D Center is going to strengthen NongHyup Bank’s unrivaled abilities in open APIs (Application Programming Interface) even more and develop innovative business models based on new technologies such as AI (Artificial Intelligence), blockchain, and Cloud.