Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Malaysia investment firm eyes opportunity in Cambodian finance

Malaysia investment firm eyes opportunity in Cambodian finance

Malaysia investment firm eyes opportunity in Cambodian finance

Malaysia-listed Gunung Capital Bhd, an investment holding company involved primarily in chartering out land-based transportation assets, is looking to acquire a 20 per cent stake in a Cambodian financial institution.

Malaysian media outlet Bernama reported on Wednesday that the management of the company has been invited by promoters of a yet-to-be-issued, fully fledged commercial banking licence in Cambodia to evaluate a proposal to participate in.

It said the company management is currently in advanced discussions regarding the allowable equity participation in financial institutions. The parties are also in advanced discussions on other qualitative and quantitative requirements, such as governance issues, imposed by the relevant authorities in the Kingdom on foreign equity participation.

“At this stage of evaluation and discussions, the company cannot confirm the amount of the investment value involved,” Bernama reported the company as saying in a filing with the Malaysian stock exchange, Bursa Malaysia.

“Upon completion of the evaluation of the proposal, and [that] the prospective yield of such an equity investment is strongly beneficial to the company, then the management will seek a meaningful equity participation of at least a 20 per cent equity stake to maximise on this investment opportunity,” it said.

The Post could not reach National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) director-general Chea Serey for comment on Thursday.

Bernama also reported that Gunung is potentially looking to unlock the value of the bank through a listing on the Cambodia Securities Exchange. Gunung said it was premature to conclude that a listing exercise in Cambodia is the company’s only option to unlock the value of an equity investment.

“This option is obviously a long-term strategy given the current infancy stage of the commercial bank proposal and the un-concluded evaluation of the proposal, and would require the necessary approvals from relevant authorities in Cambodia to list on the stock exchange,” Gunung was quoted as saying.

As of the end of last year, the Kingdom has 46 commercial banks, 15 specialised banks and 82 microfinance institutions (MFIs). There are also 248 rural credit operators, 15 leasing companies and 20 payment service providers, said the NBC Annual Report 2019.

Banks’ outstanding loan portfolio reached $24.5 billion last year while deposits stood at $25.5 billion. Among MFIs, loans reached $7.2 billion and deposits $3.9 billion, it said.


  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Kampot tourism quay ‘90% done’

    Construction on Kampot International Tourism Port – a 4ha quay in Teuk Chhou district about 6km west of Kampot town – has fallen off track, reaching 90 per cent completion, according to a senior Ministry of Tourism official last week. The project is now planned to be finished

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42