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VN’s Agribank to open branch in Cambodia

MAJOR Vietnamese lender Agribank is set to open its first branch in Cambodia next month, an official said Sunday.

The unlisted Hanoi-based lender, which is also known as the Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam, is set open its first branch in Cambodia in June.

Agribank is Vietnam’s largest bank by assets and has registered capital of 21 trillion dong (US$1.1 billion) as of March this year.

The Phnom Penh branch would build on Agribank’s representative office, which has been operating in the Kingdom for years, according to Le Bien Cuong, commercial counselor at the Vietnamese embassy.

“For businesses, it’s an opportunity that will motivate them to invest in Cambodia,” he said, and added that he does not know the amount of initial investment pledged.

Neither NBC nor Agribank officials could be reached for comment Sunday.

Agribank would become the third Vietnamese bank to open in Cambodia after Sacombank and Bank for Investment and Development of Cambodia (BIDC), which came to Cambodia last year.

It would bring the total number of commercial banks in Cambodia to 29.

On Saturday, BIDC opened its first branch in the Prampi Makara district of Phnom Penh after a 10-month initial foray into Cambodia.

Nguyen Van Hien, BIDC’s Chief Executive Officer, said during the opening that the main objective of the bank was to provide loans to Vietnamese investors and businesspeople working in Cambodia. Le Bien Cuong said that the number of Vietnamese investors coming to Cambodia in the last two years have increased.

“So far, about 200 Vietnamese companies are doing businesses in Cambodia,bringing total Vietnamese investments to nearly $1 billion,” he said.

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