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Finance update: New banks draw closer to Kingdom

MALAYSIA’S CIMB bank and the Bank of China were close to receiving operating licences for Cambodia, an official at the National Bank of Cambodia said yesterday.

“For CIMB, it has met all the requirements by the law in Cambodia,” said Thai Saphear, head of the governor’s office of the National Bank of Cambodia.

He added that the main requirements for a permit were registered capital, bank’s statutes, a governing board, office location and staff.

“For the Bank of China, it almost meets all above requirements; just its location and staff are not in place,” he said.

“As [CIMB and BoC] have almost completed everything, it’s expected that the official operating licences will be issued for them soon. If they rush to launch operations this month or next month, it would be possible,” he added.

When the two new banks are operational, the total number of commercial banks in Cambodia will rise to 30.

By the end of this year, all commercial banks will be required to triple their registered capital from the current US$13 million to $37.5 million.

Exceptions would be made for banks with at least one influential shareholder, a bank or financial institution with a rating of “investment grade” extended by a reputable rating agency, according to the National Bank of Cambodia’s prakas, or edict, released in September 2008.

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