Japan-based Mizuho Bank (MHBK) has signed an agreement with two well-established banks in Cambodia that is designed to help Mizuho leverage a wider range of financial services when dealing with Japanese clients.
The memorandum of understanding was inked on Friday in Phnom Penh between Mizuho’s president and CEO, Yasuhiro Sato, Maybank (Cambodia) CEO Lee Tien Poh, and Canadia Bank CEO Michael Lor.
“We have been providing information to Japanese corporations entering the Cambodian market,” Sato said on Friday. “As a bank with a reputation for strength in the Greater Mekong subregion, MHBK will use this memorandum of understanding to provide high-quality financial services to meet the diverse needs of our customers.”
In July, MHBK, one of the largest banks in Japan, opened a Phnom Penh representative office – the usual first step for banks looking to establish local branches in other countries.
Mizuho Bank is now the third Japanese mega-bank with a representative office in Phnom Penh. The other two are Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Bank and Simitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.
Mizuho isn’t the first to seek out cooperation. In May, Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ signed a similar agreement with Canadia.
In the past couple of years, Japanese investment in Cambodia has surged. Data from the Japanese embassy in Phnom Penh shows that investment totalled $330 million in 2012, a big jump from the $75 million in 2011.
At the end of March, there were 115 members of the Japanese Business Association of Cambodia, compared to 101 at the end of 2012.
But the country still lags behind investors from China and South Korea.
According to data from the Council for the Development of Cambodia, Japan ranked 14th in terms of foreign direct investing in Cambodia, having spent $154 million in the country from 1994 to 2011.
The Japanese-funded, 68,000-square-metre Aeon mega-mall is expected to open next to Phnom Penh’s Sofitel hotel in July of 2014.