Cambodian conglomerate Chip Mong Group has expanded its business interests in the Kingdom to the financial sector by adding Chip Mong Commercial Bank to its corporate portfolio.
Although it has not publicised the bank’s establishment as yet, the group last week posted a job announcement on its website, saying that it is running a newly established commercial bank.
When contacted by The Post on Monday, a Chip Mong employee confirmed that the group had been granted a banking licence by the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) and is now building a team.
Neither a Chip Mong executive nor a representative from the NBC could be reached for comments.
However, Chip Mong Commercial Bank has been registered with the Ministry of Commerce since July 15 and lists Pheap Heak as its board chairman, while Leang Khun and Leang Meng are named as directors.
$75M or more
The NBC’s semi-annual report for this year said the Kingdom was home to 39 commercial and 15 specialised banks. In order to operate in Cambodia, banks are required to have capital of at least $75 million.
Ngeth Chou, a senior consultant at Emerging Markets Consulting (EMC) and an expert in Cambodia’s financial landscape, said it is not surprising for Chip Mong to fulfil the requirements, as the group already has several subsidiaries that started with hundreds of millions in investment capital.
Seeing a clear path that led Chip Mong to commercial banking, Chou said: “Chip Mong’s subsidiaries like Chip Mong Land has offered mortgage services, so that service could come under its commercial bank in the future,” he said.
“The scale of [financial need] among Chip Mong’s many enterprises may already be large enough to merit the establishment of a bank.”
Chip Mong’s business operations cover construction and materials, consumer goods, property development, food and beverage, hospitality and retail sectors.