Banks in Cambodia expand their capacities to connect ASEAN region


By Sok Lak
The increase of customers and investors in Cambodia that has experienced rapid economic growth and political stability has provided a chance for Cambodia to become a potential market for investment and financial trends.
H.E. Pal Buy Bonnang (right) cut ribbon to launch CIMB branches
“Both local and international banks in Cambodia are trying to expand their capacities to welcome investors and businesses from different regions and are booming in the growth of money transfer and business transactions,” various banks said.
Through these environments, CIMB Bank Plc which is part of CIMB group, one of ASEAN’s leading universal banking groups, on November 21st, expanded its capacity by launching its two new branches and four CIMB Preferred centers in Cambodia and plans to connect banking systems within the ASEAN region. The ASEAN region is moving to create the ASEAN community 2015. The banking system also is trying to expand their connection to integrate this region fast.
In the launching ceremony of this new branch of the bank, CIMB Bank Chairman, Dato’ Shaarani Ibrahim said: “Within just a year of its incorporation, the Bank’s branch network has grown significantly with the addition of two branches in the Olympic areas of Phnom Penh and in Siem Reap city. Additionally, the bank also reinforced its ASEAN identity with the introduction of its priority banking service, CIMB preferred in Cambodia,” he said.
Peter England, Head of Retail Financial Services of CIMB Bank, said: “CIMB has just operated in Cambodian only one year, but already has established several branches and promoted effective business now. We believe that Cambodia’s market now is in a good position and the timing is also perfect for us here and we also plan to grow further in Cambodia.”
To invest in Cambodia, CIMB has not just come in to bring and put offices, but it is here for the long term. “We believe that Cambodia has great potential and we are also serious about investing in Cambodia.
Now we have seven branches: 5 in Phnom Penh, one in Siem Reap and one in Sihanoukvile, but we still look for opportunities elsewhere when the market grows.”
“Basically, it has large banks in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Cambodia as it operates in five main markets in ASEAN. In the future, it will operate in the Philippines now as it is in the process of negotiation and it is one process to apply for licenses in Vietnam.
Furthermore, CIMB will be a central hub in ASEAN banking,” Peter mentioned.
“In line with the ASEAN integration in 2015, CIMB group is one of the main components of this integration as it recently has been working with numbers of entrepreneurship operations in order to promote a business atmosphere and strengthen companies to work throughout ASEAN and comply with ASEAN guidelines,” Peter stressed.
With these new launches, CIMB Bank now has a total seven branches and four CIMB Preferred centers in addition to a network of off-site ATMs.
The CIMB group has one of the largest branch networks in ASEAN with over 1,100 branches and 40,000 employees reaching out to over 80 percent of the ASEAN population representing about 90 percent of ASEAN’s GDP. Recently, there are 36 commercial banks including the
Mega International Commercial Bank of Taiwan which was launched in September this year.
H.E. Pal Buy Bonnang, Director General of Banking Supervision of National Bank of Cambodia also attended the opening ceremony of the new branches of CIMB.

Source: The Southeast Asia Weekly, Nov 27-Dec 3, 2011, Vol. 5, Issue 48, Page 3

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