Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ANZ distances itself from Cambodian partner

ANZ distances itself from Cambodian partner

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
ANZ Royal Bank signage at a local branch in Phnom Penh. POST STAFF

ANZ distances itself from Cambodian partner

Australian financial institution ANZ has distanced itself from the Royal Group, its local partner in a Cambodian joint venture bank, following police reports linking the group to illegal logging activities.

A report published by Cambodia’s National Police this week accused Royal Group, owned by prominent tycoon Kith Meng, of laundering illegal timber through the Lower Sesan II hydropower project. It accused the conglomerate of using its licence to clear the reservoir area as cover for its subsidiary’s laundering of timber from elsewhere.

The Royal Group has denied the claims. Royal Group owns a 45 percent stake in ANZ Royal Bank, a joint venture with ANZ that operates 15 branches with over $1 billion in assets.

Stephen Ries, spokesman for ANZ, said in a statement yesterday that the bank and its local subsidiary had no involvement or financial ties to the Royal Group’s activities.

“To the extent that the Royal Group – a company in which ANZ has no financial or other interest is involved in dam projects, that is a matter for the Royal Group,” he said.

“While the Royal Group is ANZ’s minority partner in ANZ Royal Bank, we can confirm ANZ and ANZ Royal Bank provides no funding to dam projects in Cambodia whatsoever.”

ANZ Royal Bank previously faced scrutiny for its involvement with a sugar plantation belonging to ruling party Senator Ly Yong Phat after the operation was linked to land disputes and child labour scandals.

The bank severed its ties with the company in 2014 when reports of wrongdoing at the plantation emerged.


  • Professor beaten by mob in Phnom Penh after alleged hit-and-run

    Updated with new information: 6:44am, Tuesday March 13 2018 A university professor accused of a hit-and-run has been transported to Vietnam with serious head injuries after he was brutally beaten by a mob in Phnom Penh late Sunday afternoon. A video of the attack shows a group

  • American ‘fugitive’ arrested in Cambodia outside of US Embassy

    An American citizen was arrested on request by the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Tuesday, according to Cambodian police. Major General Uk Hei Sela, chief of investigations at the Department of Immigration, identified the man as American Jan Sterling Hagen, and said he was

  • One Australian, one Cambodian killed in explosion at military base

    Updated: 5:20pm, Friday 16 March 2018 An Australian tourist and a Cambodian soldier were killed in an explosion on Thursday afternoon at an army base in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province. The Australian, whom the government initially identified as a technical demining expert in his 40s, and

  • Australians protest Asean summit visit by PM Hun Sen

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sydney’s Hyde Park on Friday to protest against Cambodian strongman Hun Sen, who claimed to have been gifted millions of dollars by the Australian government ahead of a special Asean summit this weekend. An estimated 300 protesters, the majority of