Q & A with Mr. Han Peng Kwang, General Manager of HwangDBS Commercial Bank Plc
1. How long has HwangDBS Bank been operating in Cambodia?
HwangDBS CB commenced business four years ago, on July 23, 2009.
2. How many branches does HwangDBS have in Cambodia, and how many employees do you have?
To date, there are four branches in Cambodia. The headquarters are located on Norodom Boulevard and there are branches on Kampuchea Krom and Mao Tse Toung boulevards, and in Stung Meanchey province. There were a total of 82 employees as of August 1 this year.
3. Would you be able to disclose the capital investment that HwangDBS Bank had when it began operating?
We started with $20 million paid-up capital in 2009, before increasing it to $40 million by 2011.
4. Could you tell us one of the bank’s success stories?
For confidentiality reasons, we could not reveal any specific names. However, we have assisted many small and medium-sized enterprises [SMEs] to expand and improve their business over the years by providing them with working capital. We have also assisted many home buyers to purchase their own homes since we started operations four years ago.
5. What kind of business is HwangDBS Bank going for?
The bank’s focus is to continue to build up our loan offerings and offer loans to all sectors that can contribute to the economic growth of the country. However, we are focused on offering more loans to SMEs, as well as residential property purchase loans.
6. What kind of customers do you look for and what services can you offer them?
We look to support customers who are involved in SMEs in any type of industry, except those involved in non-productive or illegal activities.
We can provide SMEs the following services: one, working capital to improve and expand their business; two, cash management; three, payroll services; and four, remittance services.
7. How are you different from other banks?
HwangDBS Commercial Bank Plc is a 100 per cent foreign-owned bank established by a financially sound and leading integrated financial specialist group from Malaysia, Hwang-DBS (Malaysia) Berhad. Together with their long-standing business partner of regional repute, Singapore’s DBS Group, HwangDBS Commercial Bank has the strength and capability to connect Cambodia to a broader array of safe and secure innovative products and services.
The combined in-depth knowledge, skills and assets allows HwangDBS Commercial Bank the advantage of positioning itself as a bank that understands the need to localise their offerings for the benefit of Cambodia.
8. What would you like clients and the public to know about HwangDBS Bank?
We are a fully owned subsidiary of Hwang-DBS (Malaysia) Berhad, a public listed company in Malaysia, and are we are backed by DBS Bank Ltd, the biggest bank in Southeast Asia.
9. Which sectors of the Cambodian economy does HwangDBS see as interesting and exciting?
As a young and growing economy, infrastructure spending and improvement is expected. In addition to that, the growing population and young demographics will contribute to sectors such as real-estate and retail, as well as the motor industry. As such, we expect the real-estate and construction sectors to grow because the population will require more homes and will move to areas with affordable housing and travel to areas of work, which means roads have to be built or improved and transport options will grow and vary from the personally owned to public transport.
Therefore, we want to assist in this growth by providing housing loans to individuals to enable them to purchase their own residential houses. As a result, developers will be able to sell more houses and contribute to the growth of the economy. We will also focus on lending to small and medium-sized enterprises to assist expanding their businesses and therefore further contribute to the growth of the country.
10.What plans do you have for your bank in Cambodia?
We intend to grow our franchise gradually by opening more branches in the coming years, not only in Phnom Penh, but in major provinces as well. We also intend to introduce more products to our customers, such as trade services, internet banking, mobile phone banking and installing more ATMs for the convenience of our customers.