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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - First American-owned bank opens doors in Phnom Penh

First American-owned bank opens doors in Phnom Penh

CAMBODIA'S first American-owned bank opened its doors Wednesday bringing the number of foreign-owned banks in Cambodia to 25.

Chea Chanto, governor of the National Bank of Cambodia, said that the launch would strengthen US-Cambodian ties and that the increase in foreign-owned banks demonstrates confidence in the local banking sector.

"The bank will focus on loans, especially for small and medium enterprises, which need capital to expand their businesses."

"I hope that the bank will bring more cross-border activity and further innovation and financial products and services to meet customer demand and make the Cambodian banking system work competitive and efficiently in line with market disciplines," he said.

John Kevin Baldwin, chairman of Angkor Capital Bank, said Wednesday that Angkor Capital Bank's investment capital is US$13 million.

"The bank is more than the first American-owned bank in Cambodia; it stands as an American-Asian bridge connecting my home country to yours."

Baldwin said that although he is familiar with the tough challenges of the world economy, he is grateful for the prudent regulatory framework implemented by the National Bank of Cambodia.

"This country's banking industry remains solid - even amid the turmoil in the world's economy. Though we recognise this turmoil, our belief in Cambodia's potential for growth remains unshaken and that it is why we are here."

The primary company is named Bridge Capital and is based in Saipan.

"As one of the largest US investors in Cambodia, our financial and personal commitment to this is clear," he said.

"Cambodia is poised to become a leading business centre because nowhere else in Asia is there such a hunger for knowledge and growth."

He said that the bank would offer deposits accounts, commercial and individual loans, ATM services, and trade financing with innovative features.

Soon the bank will launch a debit and credit card, accompanied by full service online banking plugging Cambodia into the world, he said.

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