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Thai KBank to launch in Cambodia

Kasikornbank, Thailand’s fourth-largest bank by assets, has received a licence to open its first branch in Cambodia, a bank executive said yesterday.

“We got principle approval [from the National Bank of Cambodia] and we plan to operate the branch as soon as we can,” said Pakapong Poomarporn, Kasikornbank’s chief representative in Cambodia.

He said the bank would begin with one branch in Phnom Penh, though the location had yet to be finalised.

Kasikornbank, or KBank as it is commonly known, currently operates a representative office in Cambodia.

The bank announced its application for a Cambodian commercial banking licence in 2014, and is set to become the 37th commercial bank operating in the Kingdom.

With its approval, KBank will join the three other Thai banks that already established a presence in the Kingdom: Bangkok Bank, Krungthai Bank and Siam Commercial Bank.

Bank of Ayudhya, operating as Krungsri, is also poised to enter the market with its full acquisition of local microfinance institution Hattha Kaksekar Ltd, announced late last month.

Kasikornbank president Teeranun Srihong has previously said the bank would not focus on retail banking and would instead specialise in lending to underserved small- and medium-sized businesses.

The opening of a Cambodian branch will mark another step in KBank’s regional expansion. The bank has established a subsidiary in Laos and has representative offices in Vietnam and Myanmar.

The National Bank of Cambodia had not confirmed the issuance of the licence or the bank’s operating capital as of press time.

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