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UOB supports GAC Aion to venture into Thai EV market

(In this photo from left) Mr Ocean Ma, Managing director, Aion Automobile Manufacturing (Thailand) and Aion Automobile Sales (Thailand); Ms Christina Zeng, South head of Corporate Banking, General Manager of Guangzhou Branch, UOB China; Mr Gu Hui Nan, managing director of GAC Aion New Energy Automobile Co. Ltd.; Mr Tan Choon Hin, President and CEO, UOB Thailand; Ms Panitsanee Tansavatdi, Executive Director, Head of Corporate Banking UOB Thailand and Ms Cynthia Xin, Head of Corporate Banking, General Manager of Beijing Branch, UOB China

UOB and Guangzhou Auto Group (GAC) Aion have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) establishing a comprehensive business cooperation to support the Chinese car manufacturer as it ventures into Thai electric vehicle market. Through the agreement, UOB China and UOB Thailand will provide financial supports for the company’s business expansion, market development and investment in innovation.

The agreement builds on UOB China’s long-established partnership with GAC Aion, China’s third largest new energy vehicle automobile company in terms of domestic sales market in the first half of 2023. Under the MOU, Aion Automobile Sales (Thailand) will benefit from global credit management to meet operational needs and capital demand, cross-border transaction services and access to green financial solutions under UOB’s sustainable finance framework to support sustainable business activities.

Mr Tan Choon Hin, President and CEO, UOB Thailand said “We would like to congratulate GAC Aion for the first important step of success in expanding its EV footprints in Thailand. The long-term partnership we established with them has granted us the privilege to serve as their main financial institution on their journey to expand overseas. As a leading regional bank with deep roots in Thailand, our extensive networks and understanding of the local market nuances has successfully supported GAC Aion’s entry to Thailand’s high-growth EV market. We look forward to facilitate their upcoming development, which will enhance the country’s transition to green transport as more Thai consumers are looking to adopt the electric cars.”

The MOU is signed in conjunction with GAC Aion launching its first overseas model – Aion Y Plus in Thailand. In 2022, GAC Aion set its internationlisation strategy and decided to firstly expand into ASEAN’s fast-growing markets with Thailand as the first stop. UOB formed a business team including in-market relationship managers, Foreign Direct Investment advisory and China Desk service team to provide seamless support to the client across border. With the team’s support, GAC Aion set the subsidiary and funded its capital, completed overseas direct investment registration and shipped the first batch of Y Plus models to Thailand. UOB also provided cross-border payment solution that enables the client to collect payment from Thai distributors in Thai Baht, covert into in renminbi and transfer back to China.

Mr Gu Hui Nan, Managing Director, GAC Aion New Energy Automobile Co. Ltd, “GAC Aion plans to build a distribution network and set up an assembly plant in Thailand as our first step in internationalising our business. In this journey, UOB provided us support needed in entering the Southeast Asia market. We are poised to continue its growth trajectory and continually work with UOB in Thailand and beyond to empower people in Southeast Asia for a sustainable future. "

Mr Ocean Ma, Managing director, Aion Automobile Manufacturing (Thailand) and Aion Automobile Sales (Thailand) said, “When GAC Aion first established its international business unit in September last year, we were unable to travel overseas to conduct research and connect to local industry. Tapping UOB’s connectivity, we are able to navigate the intricacies and potential risks when expanding overseas and being connected to representatives from government agencies of ASEAN countries in Guangzhou and dealers in Thailand. In this journey, UOB is not only a financial advisor, but also a reliable partner to support us every step of the way.”

Thailand emerges Southeast Asia’s largest car producer and exporter and EV market. Building upon the AION Y series’ launch, GAC Aion will continue its plan to build a localised production and distribution network in Thailand and beyond.

Ms Cynthia Xin, Head of Corporate Banking, UOB China said, “we sincerely appreciate GAC Aion’s trust in UOB. With our continually deepened strategic anchor relationship, we believe this MOU signing will further enhance our core Bank position for Aion and Guangzhou Auto Group and expand our business opportunities from its ASEAN value chain including supply chain finance, sustainable solution, global markets and capital markets.”

About UOB

UOB is a leading bank in Asia. Operating through its head office in Singapore and banking subsidiaries in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, UOB has a global network of around 500 offices in 19 countries and territories in Asia Pacific, Europe and North America. Since its incorporation in 1935, UOB has grown organically and through a series of strategic acquisitions. Today, UOB is rated among the world’s top banks: Aa1 by Moody’s Investors Service and AA- by both S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings.

For nearly nine decades, UOB has adopted a customer-centric approach to create long-term value by staying relevant through its enterprising spirit and doing right by its customers. UOB is focused on building the future of ASEAN – for the people and businesses within,and connecting with ASEAN.

The Bank connects businesses to opportunities in the region with its unparalleled regional footprint and leverages data and insights to innovate and create personalised banking experiences and solutions catering to each customer’s unique needs and evolving preferences. UOB is also committed to help businesses forge a sustainable future, by fostering social inclusiveness, creating positive environmental impact and pursuing economic progress. UOB believes in being a responsible financial services provider and is steadfast in its support of art, social development of children and education, doing right by its communities and stakeholders.

About UOB Thailand

UOB Thailand is a fully-licensed commercial bank with its network of 149 branches, 352 ATMs nationwide (as at 31 December 2021). UOB Thailand is 99.66 per cent owned by Singapore-headquartered UOB, and is rated among the top banks in Thailand: AAA (tha) by Fitch Ratings.

28 September 2023
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