Award-winning CIMB Bank PLC, which posted $14 million profit before tax last year, says it is ready to weather any economic hiccups amid global uncertainties, as the bank is well-anchored in the domestic market.
Last week, CIMB won the ‘2018 Cambodia’s Best International Bank’ award, which was awarded by Asiamoney, a financial magazine.
“Overall in the world conditions do not look favourable but Cambodia will not be affected. Cambodia’s economic prospects for 2019 looks positive and CIMB has good fundamentals.
“We are very confident to do better and ready to face any challenges,” said the bank’s CEO Bun Yin, during the announcement of the award last Thursday.
Citing the robust construction and property markets, Bun said the Cambodian economy had been stable and resilient over the years, and remained unscathed by previous economic downturns, even during the 1987 Asian financial crisis.
“You can see a lot of buildings and properties are being constructed, and there [is] lot of funding, they are benefitting by providing jobs. Even in the previous economic crisis Cambodia was not affected,” he added.
Bun’s outlook comes at a time when the world ushered the New Year with uncertainties gripping the global economy.
Drastic decline in crude oil prices, China-United States trade dispute, geo-political tensions and the debate over UK’s departure from the European Union or Brexit – could impact the closely-intertwined international economy.
Cambodia is the 69th largest exporter in the world.
The veteran banker’s optimism was also shared by the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC), which said the Kingdom’s economy is expected to grow at seven per cent this year.
“Cambodia’s economy is predicted to remain resilient and maintain a high growth rate this year in the face of challenges posed by the global economy.
“Credit in the Cambodian banking sector is expected to accelerate to 17.1 per cent [this year] and financial inclusion will continuously grow, boosting economic activity and reducing the poverty rate,” NBC said in January 3 statement.
Commenting on the award, Bun said it was the collective effort that contributed to the bank’s success.
“CIMB Bank winning this award has been due to the hard work of the management and staff, followed by strong support from CIMB Group, and more importantly the continued trust from our customers so far,” he added.
Touching on CIMB’s performance, Bun said: “with good governance, the bank’s growth has remained positive year by year since the start of our operations in Cambodia”.
“Our estimated pre tax is $14 million until December and the net profit will be calculated after a 20 per cent corporate tax deduction,” he added.
Over the last five years, the bank’s profit before tax has increased by seven folds – from $2 million in 2014 to $14 million last year, while its assets more than doubled from $353 million to $865 million over the same period.
The bank’s growth has been steady. On average, the bank’s loan and deposit have grown by 32 per cent and 30 per cent annually, increasing from $209 million and $265 million in 2014 to $545 million, and $700 million in 2018 respectively.
Besides, it maintains a very low rate of non-performing loan of only 0.19 per cent, compared to the banking sector as a whole at 2.4 per cent.
At present, CIMB has 13 branches – in Phnom Penh (nine), Siem Reap, Preah Sihanouk, Battambang and Kampong Cham.
Serving more than 26,000 customers, CIMB offers a wide range of banking products and services including consumer, commercial and corporate, and transaction banking.
“We do not plan to open any new branches, people are moving more into digital banking. Our credit card segment is doing well and we have also launched the HomePro, which is a mortgage product with free life insurance of $50,000,” he added.
The bank is a subsidiary of Malaysia-based CIMB Group Holdings Bhd and the group has presence in all the 10 Asean countries.
The Cambodian subsidiary is managed entirely by local staff.
“CIMB has successfully built a financial institution with local talents, as 100 per cent of our employees are Cambodians.
“Our commitment for the bank’s long-term goal of contributing to the Cambodian banking talent pool remains our foremost priority, and we hope to play our part in creating a new generation of bankers for the nation,” said Bun, who spent over three decades in the banking sector.