Montreal-based National Bank of Canada (NBC) recently unveiled plans to acquire the final 10 per cent stake in the Cambodia-based ABA Bank, which would give it 100 per cent ownership of the bank.
The 10 per cent of ABA in question is currently owned by Damir Karassayev, a former head of the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange.
According to a report from Canadian newspaper the Financial Post, NBC president and CEO Louis Vachon told shareholders at the bank’s annual meeting in Quebec City on April 24 that they had the option of buying the remaining 10 per cent of ABA in the coming months.
“Yes, our intention is to buy the remaining 10 per cent of ABA Bank,” an NBC spokesperson confirmed to the Financial Post.
According to the spokesperson, the bank is closely monitoring growth forecasts for Cambodia, which remain strong.
An investor presentation in November predicted ABA would record a profit of around $70 million last year, up from $7.5 million in 2014. ABA now has 66 branches, 4,500 employees and more than 450,000 customers across the Kingdom, according to NBC.
In March, Vachon paid a visit to ABA in Cambodia – his third visit since 2017 – demonstrating NBC’s strong commitment to the Cambodian bank’s development.
Vachon said in an ABA press release during the visit that there are many reasons NBC decided to invest in the Cambodian bank.
“There are many reasons National Bank of Canada decided to invest in ABA. One of them is the future of Cambodia, as we saw a very bright future for the country and its people,” he said in the release.