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New joint venture: Singaporean invests in pawn shop

A SINGAPOREAN investor has put US$500,000 into a joint-venture pawnshop in Phnom Penh that is only the fourth to be registered in the Kingdom.

Steven Lam, director of the new business, Cash-U-Up, said the company would offer more financial solutions to Cambodians who had difficulties in accessing bank services.

“We intend to implement the skills brought from Singapore to succeed in our business here,” he said.

“We offer [services] to everyone who needs financial services or cash in advance that would be difficult to get from the bank or financial institutions.”

Cash-U-Up is set to provide small loans with a 3 percent interest rate against collateral of all kinds of property, such as jewellery, phones, cars, motorcycles and laptops.

The licensed store opened yesterday in Phnom Penh’s PGCT center on Street 274, but will compete with a host of unlicensed operators.

Under a January prakas, or edict, pawn shops require a permit to operate. Operators must have minimum capital of 80 million riels (about $18,823), of which 10 percent is required for a deposit at a Finance Ministry account at the National Bank of Cambodia.

Mey Vann, the MoF director of financial industry, said: “Our goal is to avoid them from accepting the stolen things to curb robbery in the country.
“Relying on the prakas

requires them to get registered but we cannot force them. We have to educate them to understand clearly about the law first,” and the government would take action in the future, he said.

Prime Minister Hun Sen returned from Singapore on Tuesday, where he highlighted investment opportunities.

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