Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Banking sector still stable: govt

Banking sector still stable: govt

Banking sector still stable: govt

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A branch of ANZ Bank in Phnom Penh. The government and banking sector stated that banks are stable in Cambodia. TRACEY SHELTON

Bank Deposits

The following figures show Cambodia's cumulative total deposits for the given period:

  • 2008 - US$3.07 billion
  • 2007 - US$2.25 billion
  • 2006 - US$1.40 billion
  • 2005 - US$0.95 billion
  • 2004 - US$0.83 billion
  • 2003 - US$0.66 billion
  • 2002 - US$0.57 billion

Source: Ministry of Economy and Finance

CAMBODIA'S banking is on a solid footing despite the economic crisis and reports of high risk, according to officials.

The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) and the Ministry of Economy and Finance said Wednesday that limited exposure to real estate, low nonperforming loans and rising deposits show that the sector is in good shape. Hang Chuon Naron, secretary general of the ministry, said Wednesday at a Trade and Investment Cambodia conference in Phnom Penh that bank deposits increased 36 percent last year and nonperforming loans are stable.

"Bank deposits increased to US$3 billion last year from $2.25 billion in 2007," he said.

"Domestic credit to the private sector increased 59 percent to $2.5 billion last year, from $1.5 billion in 2007."

He added that Cambodia's nonperforming loans were a low 2.6 percent in 2008, down from 3.4 percent in 2007 and 9.5 percent in 2006. The country's international reserves increased to $2 billion in 2008, up from $1 billion in 2007, said Hang Chuon Naron.

We haven't seen any problems.… Cambodia is not exposed to the stock market.

He said that with three banks occupying more than half of the total market share, "customers trust the banking sector".

The National Bank of Cambodia was also confident, dismissing reports that some banks could face liquidity problems due to the downturn.

"The national bank has increased our supervision of banks. If there was a problem, we would have seen it already," NBC Director General Tal Nay Im told the Post.

"We haven't seen any problems.... Cambodia is not exposed to the stock market, which is important."

The International Monetary Fund issued a report last week that raised warnings about the possible effects of the crisis on Cambodia. "The picture could be misleading ... banks' compliance with prudential regulations remains weak," said the report.

Tal Nay Im rejected suggestions that banks are overexposed to real estate loans. "Only some loans were to the real estate sector - it is not as bad as the United States," she said.

In Channy, president of ACLEDA Bank, agreed the situation was stable: "This year, as a banker, I think the effect of the crisis on the Cambodian banking sector has been slight, but it will reduce growth."

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