IV-15. “Grasping the Recent Trend of Intra- and Inter- Regional Expansion of Asean Commercial Banks: Its Implication in the Regional History” (H27 FY2015)

  • Project Leader : Hamada Miki (Institute of Developing Economies, JETRO, Development Studies Center)
  • Collaborators : Inoguchi Masahiro (Kyoto Sangyo University, Faculty of Business Administration)
  • : Kinkyo Takuji (Kobe University, Graduate School of Economics)
  • : Shimizu Satoshi (The Japan Research Institute, Research Devison)
  • : Mieno Fumiharu (Kyoto University, Center for Southeast Asian Studies)
  • : Yano Go (Kyoto University, Graduate School of Economics)
  • : Nagaoka Shinsuke (Kyoto University, Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies)
  • : Ro Ensesu (Luw)(Graduate School, Kyoto University, Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies)

Outline of Research

Since the 2000s, the commercial banking sector of ASEAN’s five original member countries has been transformed significantly. This research project aims to examine and uncover the current stage of the transformation with an emphasis on each country’s regulations, major banks’ movements, macroeconomic environment, and histori and geopolitical points of views.

Major commercial banks in the region have been developed mainly by the local capital under severe restrictions on foreign capital investment, and the banking sector in the region has been characterized by confrontation between the local Chinese private capital and the state owned commercial banks. However, the circumstances have been changed over the past fifteen years. Oligopoly by government capital, increasing in regional interactions, and the emergence of the Japanese, Chinese and intra-ASEAN foreign banks has become noticeable. This project focuses on these movements.


During the recent fifteen years after the Asian Financial Crisis, the economies of the ASEAN 5 countries have transformed themselves into net capital investors. Their commercial banking sectors have played a major role in the process, strengthening their fundamentals and expanding their operation in cross boarder activities. Some banks in Singapore and Malaysia have already expanded their operation in all over the ASEAN area, while the banking sectors in Thailand and Indonesia have been featured by intra-ASEAN and foreign (Japanese and Chinese) capitals. These phenomena are seemingly independent of the ever growing export manufacturing sectors which have driven the economic growth in the region. Facing the recent change of the regional economic framework (ASEAN Economic Community), these movements may suggest a fundamental change of economic system in the region. Our research project aims to understand the direction of these movements on empirical basis.

Change of commercial banking sector in ASEAN is a very new topic for academic research, although some ASEAN watchers and business or government practitioners generally notice. Through the research project we expect to grasp the basic facts and the general direction of this movement, which may give us suggestions on the nexus between economic globalization in 21th century and the capital of ASEAN region. We believe that the research will bring significant insights into the field of area studies, comparative economics, and ASEAN studies in Japan.

Since the research is still in a sprout stage, we primarily focus on fact findings. Our major research targets are major commercial banks, regulation framework, macro-economy, and the capital flow in ASEAN 5 countries. Based on these fact findings, we will seek to upgrade the research as a project either at IDE or as a JAPS-funded program after the next fiscal year.

Bank Perkreditan Rakyat in Indonesia

A commercial bank in Bangkok

A bank teller in Nyanmar