Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia Post Bank enters crowded sector

Cambodia Post Bank enters crowded sector

Cambodia Post Bank enters crowded sector

Cambodia Post Bank Plc opened its doors yesterday, becoming the newest player in an increasingly crowded industry.

Toch Chaochek, the bank’s chief executive officer, said the bank, which is partially owned by the country’s postal service, will target clients in micro and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

“We have a licence to operate as a commercial bank, but we are mainly concentrating on providing something similar to a microfinance institution,” Chaochek said. He added that loans range from as little as $300 to as much as $250,000.

The initial paid-up capital of $38 million is a joint investment. State-owned enterprise Cambodia Post is the smallest stakeholder, with five per cent. Canadia Bank Plc Canadia Investment Holding has 50 per cent, and Fullerton Financial Holdings, a subsidiary of Singapore corporation Temasek Holdings, owns a 45 per cent piece.

Gan Chee Yen, chief executive officer of Fullerton Financial, said his company has experience serving the micro and SME segment across Asia, and in comparison, access to funds here is limited.

“We are committed to sharing our capacities and building local skill that will help the financial services sector in Cambodia well into the future.”

Cambodia’s economic growth rate is forecast at seven per cent this year. The country has 34 licensed commercial banks, seven specialised banks and 37 microfinance institutions, according to the latest report from the central bank. In Channy, CEO of ACLEDA Bank, said that there’s still room for growth in the sector. Channy said the majority of banks are clustered in Phnom Penh, but demand for small loans in the provinces is high.

“Many SME owners still demand good financial services,” Channy said. “If they [banks] have good human resources, infrastructure, and enough capital, they still have a promising opportunity to grow.”

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