Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ​Teng Boonma’s achievements noted by a handful



​Teng Boonma’s achievements noted by a handful

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Teng Boonma leaves behind sprawling legacies, such as the current Olympic Market building pictured. Pha Lina

​Teng Boonma’s achievements noted by a handful

Last week’s passing of Teng Boonma, one of the richest tycoons in Cambodia, does not seem to resonate with everyone in the Kingdom.

Although he was more infamously known for being short-tempered and purportedly dabbling in illegal trade, he was also a well-respected businessman in the local and international business sphere from the 1980s to early 2000s as chairman of Thai Boon Roong Co. Ltd.

Up until his death, aged 75, he maintained a near-top spot of being a mogul worth millions of dollars in assets including real estate.

Boonma’s main, notable achievements in the real estate sector are still present in Phnom Penh, particularly the Intercontinental Hotel Phnom Penh and the Olympic Market building.

The current Olympic Market building in Phnom Penh was the first big development of Thai Bong Roong’s in the early 1990s.

Although the building – housing hundreds of stalls – then caused much uproar among the tenants for its high rental fees, the stalls actually improved from being just a wooden building on ground level under zinc roofing to the impressive concrete building it is today.

Several years after bringing Olympic Market back into business, the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC), a collection of large business members in the country, was created with the support of Boonma, with its first headquarters situated on the top floor of the Olympic Market building.

About 20 years ago, there was no building in Phnom Penh that sat higher than the 15-storey Intercontinental Hotel Phnom Penh. The 350-room, five-star hotel was built in 1996 and opened in 1998. It was Thai Boon Roong’s first massive development project on an international scale, with Boonma at the forefront.

Kim Heang, president of the Cambodian Valuers and Estate Agents Association, appreciated Boonma’s valuable contributions to the Kingdom’s real estate industry. He said, “If you look back at the 1990s in Phnom Penh and the rest of the country, Intercontinental Hotel Phnom Penh was a big pride of ours as many international meetings from the ministry levels to the head of states level were organised there. I think the developments by Teng Boonma have played an invaluable role in helping the country.”

“I respect him as a senior businessman in the real estate sector,” he said. “He was a man, not a God. Everyone makes mistakes. But for what he has done, we have to respect that.”

Ho Vandy, currently a counselor at the CCC and a former co-chairman of a tourism company, said, “Over ten years ago, many important events in the tourism sector, both public and private, chose Intercontinental Hotel Phnom Penh as their first choice because in terms of face, it was a new product in the country.”

When asked if Boonma was the founder of the CCC, Vandy was hesitant. He only said, “From what I remember, the first chairman of the CCC was Teng Boonma.”

Teng Boonma, founder of Thai Boonn Roong Co. Ltd., passed away at midnight on June 17, 2016, in a hospital in Phnom Penh. He was 75 years old. He leaves many legacies behind, including Mekong Cambodia Bank, Intercontinental Hotel Phnom Penh, Borey Kutch Development, hotels in Sihanoukville, and the upcoming Thai Boon Roong Twin Trade Centre, which is set to become the highest building in Cambodia standing 133 storeys if completed.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • Cambodia's poverty cut in half from 2009 to 2019: World Bank report

    A report published by the World Bank on November 28 states that Cambodia’s national poverty rate fell by almost half between 2009 and 2019, but the Covid-19 pandemic recently reversed some of the poverty reduction progress. Cambodia’s poverty rate dropped from 33.8 to 17.8 per cent over the 10