IV-7. “Recent Trends in Intra and Inter Regional Expansion of ASEAN Commercial Banks: Implications for Regional History” (H28 FY2016)

  • Project Leader:Hamada Miki (Institute of Developing Economies, JETRO, Development Studies Center)
  • Collaborators:Inoguchi Masahiro (Ritsumeikan University, College of Business Administration)
  •                              Kinkyo Takuji (Kobe University, Graduate School of Economics)
  •                              Shimizu Satoshi (The Japan Research Institute, Research Division)
  •                              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) (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 transformed significantly. This research project aims to examine and uncover the current stage of this transformation with an emphasis on each country’s regulations, major banks’ actions, macroeconomic environments, and historic and geopolitical viewpoints.

Major commercial banks in the region have developed mainly with local capital under severe restrictions on foreign capital investment. The sector has been characterized by confrontation between local Chinese private capital and state owned commercial banks. However, many things have changed over the past fifteen years and this pattern no longer holds. The changes—including oligopoly by government capital, a rise in regional interactions, and the noticeable emergence of Japanese, Chinese, and intra-ASEAN banks—will be the focus of this project.


During the nearly twenty years since the Asian Financial Crisis, some of the ASEAN 5 countries have transformed themselves into net capital investors. The commercial banking sector in those countries have played a major role in this process, expanding operations to include cross border activities. Some banks in Singapore and Malaysia have expanded their operations across ASEAN, while Thai and Indonesian banks are characterized by intra-ASEAN and foreign (Japanese and Chinese) capital. These phenomena are seemingly independent of the ever growing export manufacturing sectors, which have driven economic growth in the region. With the arrival of the ASEAN Economic Community, these changes may suggest a fundamental shift in the economic system of the region. Our research project aims to understand the nature of these changes on an empirical basis.

Through the research project, we will identify the basic facts and investigate the direction of the shift. We will gain insights into the nexus between economic globalization and capital in the ASEAN region. The research will make significant contributions to the field of area studies, comparative economics, and ASEAN studies in Japan.

Since the research is still in a preliminary stage, we primarily focus on fact finding. In the first year we discussed most issues crucial to the future of the region, such as infrastructure finance. Our research targets are major commercial banks, regulatory framework, macro-economy, and capital flows in the ASEAN 5 countries. Thai and Indonesia were examined last year, the remaining three countries will be investigated in this fiscal year. Based on the findings, we will explore the possibility of a long-term research project at IDE or a JAPS-funded program.


Bank Indonesia

Jakarta Bank