Malaysia's largest bank Maybank, on Dec, 28 opened its first fully operational branch
in the Cambodian capital to serve local investors and the growing number of Malaysians
doing business in Cambodia.
Total two-way trade between Malaysia and Cambodia has increased from US $32.7 million
in 1991 to US $65.5 million in 1992 said Maybank's managing director, Ahmad Mohammed
"We in Maybank recognize that strong economic growth is vital to a country's
progress and we hope to work closely with the authorities and financial communities
here to develop the financial services of this country," he said.
He said Maybank had noted an "increase number of Malaysian businessmen looking
for investment opportunities in Cambodia."
Don expressed strong support for the Cambodian government's reformist economic policies
and spoke optimistically about the war-battered country's economic potential.
Malaysian Ambassador, Deva Mohammed Ridzam said his government had discouraged investors
from four areas in Cambodia including logging, gaming and mineral and oil exploration.
Both Ambassador Ridzam and Don said that Cambodia's economic recovery would be linked
to political stability but the threat of the Khmer Rouge guerrilla faction should
not be overestimated.
"The Khmer Rouge-to me they are a spent force," said Ridzam.
The Maybank chief said the bank was totally committed to participate in the development
"The setting up of this branch is part of Maybank's emphasis to contribute to,
as well as participate, in the fast expanding economies of this region."
"As the largest banking group in Malaysia we are in the best position to facilitate
and support not only Malaysia but also other investors into Cambodia," he said.
Today's opening was hailed by Tioulong Saumura, Deputy Governor of the National Bank
of Cambodia as an example of growing international investor confidence in Cambodia's
battered financial system.
"Our economy is in poor shape, the infrastructure is weak-banking is part of
the financial infrastructure," she said, adding "There is no confidence
in the credit mechanism."
"We need strong banks like Maybank to provide banking expertise and set an example
for other less well endowed banks to follow," Saumura said.
Maybank was incorporated in 1960 and is ranked 207 in the world with group assets
totaling over 20 billion dollars.
The Phnom Penh branch offers depository services, savings account, fixed deposit,
credit facilities, trade finance and remittance facilities.