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Maybank steers for untapped markets

Maybank steers for untapped markets

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Maybank will bet on what it said was Cambodia’s low bank-penetration rate for future growth as it transitions from a branch of its Malaysian parent into a locally incorporated subsidiary.

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With 34 licenced banks operating in a market with US$4.07 billion in loans in 2011, analysts have long called the sector saturated.

But Maybank CEO Abdul Wahid Omar yesterday said banking penetration, as measured by Cambodia’s gross domestic product-to-loan ratio, was about 30 per cent, leaving it substantial room for growth compared to Malaysia and Singapore, where penetration is above 100 per cent.

“In this respect, we believe the potential for growth in Cambodia is tremendous,” he said yesterday at a press conference in Phnom Penh.

The bank had US$313 million in assets in December 2011, ranking it the country’s seventh-largest bank. As a subsidiary, it will inject up to $50 million into the market and aim at Cambodia’s number-five spot in terms of assets and market share by 2015, Abdul Wahid Omar said.

Cambodia’s GDP was $11.2 billion in 2010, World Bank data showed. According to the National Bank of Cambodia, banks loaned $4.07 billion last year, an increase of 33.5 per cent over the year before.

Cambodia’s bank penetration rate was low because a large portion of the Kingdom’s population was still unexposed to the sector, ACLEDA Bank executive vice president So Phonnary said yesterday.

But entrepreneurial activity, as well as agriculture and construction investment, would continue to pull customers into the market this year, she said.

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