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Loans pick up slack from loss of trade

Loans pick up slack from loss of trade

KIM Bunsocheat has been the manager of ACLEDA Bank in Poipet since the branch was established in 2006.

“The main business in Poipet is in trade, because it’s close to the border,” he says.

“Many people from all over Cambodia come here to set up small or micro-businesses.”

About 80 per cent of the bank’s loans are made to traders, mainly to people exporting clothes and agricultural products to Thailand.

“This year, we have made more than US$15 million worth of loans,” Kim Bunsocheat says. “In 2009, we loaned only $9 million.”

Although the border at Poipet has remained open throughout the recent dispute with Thailand, Kim Bunsocheat accepts there has been an effect on trade.

This has led to an increase in the number of loans being made by the bank, rather than the reverse.

“They [traders] need capital to earn more money, so they have to come to borrow more to make their businesses bigger,” he says.

Despite this, Kim Bunso-cheat is not concerned about his clients being unable to pay back their loans.

“Before they [ACLEDA Bank staff] provide a loan, they must first learn about the capacity of the customer,” he says. “That is very important.

“I think the future for Poipet is good.”

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