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Sacombank to open branch

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090608_15.jpg

Vietnamese lender to launch in Cambodia this month amid growing concerns that the sector is becoming overcrowded

A teller serves a customer at Sacombank in Ho Chi Minh City. The bank will this month become the 27th in Cambodia. BLOOMBERG

SACOMBANK, Vietnam's sixth-largest lender by assets, said it will open its first Cambodian branch in Phnom Penh on June 26, which would make it the third foreign bank to launch in the Kingdom since the beginning of May.

A bank official who requested anonymity told the Post at the end of last week that branch would open on Norodom Boulevard with a ceremony to be attended by National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) Governor Chea Chanto.

Tal Nay Im, director general of the NBC, said that yet another entrant to Cambodia's banking sector - Sacombank will become the 27th bank to operate here - spelled confidence in the country's financial sector.

"I think it's because investors trust us ... that's why they come to invest here," she said.

Last week the bank announced profits of 660 billion dong (US$37.1 million) for the first five months of the year, with total deposits of 69.1 trillion dong and outstanding loans of 44.8 trillion dong, a statement on the bank's We site said.

Alex Ng, general manager of US-owned Angkor Capital Bank, which launched here in November, said he thought the banking sector was becoming too saturated.

"There are too many banks for a market with a population of about 14 million people," he said, adding that he believed a total of 15 banks would be more suitable.

Yum Sui Sang, CEO of Union Commercial Bank, agreed that competition was increasing.

"There are many banks - it is a little in excess of what we need," he said. "After talking to other banks, they are also concerned about there being too many ... in Cambodia."

South Korea's biggest lender, Kookmin Bank, and State Bank of India have each opened their first Cambodian branches within the past month.

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