Bangkok Bank (BBL), one of the largest commercial banks in Thailand, will resume its operations in Cambodia this year after a 14-year absence.
BBL downsized its business operations in Cambodia in late 1998 before closing its offices and pulling out completely in 2000 following the National Bank of Cambodia’s increase of the reserve requirement from $2.5 million to $12.5 million billion.
NBC director-general Chea Serey confirmever ed yesterday that BBL had recently been given the green light to return to Cambodia.
Serey said she could not speak on the bank’s behalf as to why they left in 2000 but that the economic expectations weighed up against the new reserve requirement in place today made Cambodia an attractive location for many banks.
“Today, when the minimum capital requirement is now increased to 150 billion riel [$37.5 million] many banks are flowing in,” she said.
“Naturally because they see the potential of the Cambodian economy and they see the opportunity for them to grow,” Serey added.
Jiranan Wongmongkol, the Thai Embassy’s foreign trade promotion director in Phnom Penh confirmed yesterday that BBL planned to reopen in December.
“After the bank has been observing the development and economic growth in Cambodia for years, they decided to come back to tap this benefit,” she said.
BBL will become the third Thai bank, and 45th commercial bank operating in Cambodia.