SEOUL/MANILA, May 14 (Reuters) - The Philippine central bank has approved a request by the Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK) , South Korea's fourth-largest bank by assets, to open a branch in the country, a spokesman for IBK said on Thursday.
The Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas approved IBK's application on April 30, the central bank's deputy governor Nestor Espenilla said.
IBK, which specialises in lending to small and midsized enterprises (SMEs) in South Korea, will provide financial services geared towards SMEs in the Philippines, as well as Korean businesses that operate in the country, the spokesman said.
It plans to open a branch in Manila around November this year, and may decide to open more branches at a later date, he said.
IBK had assets worth 219.76 trillion won ($201.28 billion) as of end-2014, with 594 branches in South Korea. (Reporting by Joyce Lee and Karen Lema; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)