The grand opening ceremony of Banque Franco-Lao Ltd (BFL).
Release Date: 11/30/2010
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The grand opening ceremony of Banque Franco-Lao Ltd (BFL) took place on November 19, 2010 at its headquarters on Lane Xang Avenue in central Vientiane. In the cermony was attended by Deputy Minister of Finance, Ms Viengthong Siphandone, Deputy Governor of the bank of the Lao PDR, Mr Bounsong Sommalavong, French ambassador to Laos, Mr. Francois Senemaud and a number of city’s business community.
The Banque Franco-Lao Ltd (BFL) became the first European-Lao joint venture in banking in the Lao PDR. Banque Franco-Lao Ltd Managing Director Mr Guillaume Perdon said the joint venture of COFIBRED, the overseas investment arm of the new bank, and BCEL, the biggest commercial bank in Laos, would tap into the niche market of Lao expatriates in France.
          There are more than 100,000 people of Lao ethnicity in France, many of whom are interested in returning to their homeland to do business since the government made it clear it would welcome back those who left the country during the Cold War serveral decades ago.
Mr Perdon said Banque Franco-Lao Ltd would develop this niche market after the Lao Securities Exchange opens of trading, which is set to begin in Jannuary.
          “At the start, the bank will offer customers a whole range of products, ranging from simple saving accounts to long term investment plans designed for corporate, institution, SME and individual client,” he said as quoted in his speech at the opening ceremony.
          He also said Banque Franco-lao Ltd planned to open three service units in Vientiane and branches in Champasak, Savanakhet and Luang Prabang provinces over the next year.
          Mr Prodon said a team of international experts had spent six months installing and training the staff of the bank on how to use Flexcube, a state-of-the-art banking system, adding that many members of staff are fluently bilingual in English and French.
BCEL Deputy Director Mr Onekeo Damlongboun said the bank’s decision to joint forces with COFIBRED was part of its plan to expand its services internationally, and would enable the bank to deliver modern banking services to its customers.

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