Overview of the Cambodian Financial Market 4 – 10 Feb 2019

Finance and Banking, Financial Overview / Wednesday, March 6th, 2019
4 Feb 2019

RHB Bank Group appointed a new CEO, Thoo Kim Seng, to lead its business in Cambodia. RHB Indochina Bank Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of RHB Bank Berhad, was established in Cambodia in July 2008 and granted a banking license by the National Bank of Cambodia in October 2008. The bank now has eight branches in Phnom Penh and four in the provinces.

At the same time, the Group also appointed Danny Quah Boon Leng as country head and CEO for RHB Bank Singapore. “The appointment of Danny and Thoo will bolster our strengths and capabilities in Singapore and the Indochina region respectively,” said Dato’ Khairussaleh Ramli, group managing director at RHB Banking Group. (Khmer Times newspaper and website)

Cambodian Public Bank received four international awards in 2018, such as “Bank of the Year in Cambodia” by The Banker, “Domestic Retail Bank of the Year in Cambodia” by Asian Banking and Finance, and “Best Domestic Bank in Cambodia” and “Best Bank for SMEs in Cambodia” by Asiamoney. (Phnom Penh Post English newspaper)

4, 5 Feb 2019

Sathapana Bank officially launched debit and credit Visa cards for its customers. The cards are available in three types: Classic, Gold and Platinum. Customers can apply for the card at any of the Bank’s 169 branches across the country.

Sathapana Bank also appointed a new CEO, Mr. Lim Aun to take the leadership role in the Bank from February 1, 2019. Mr. Lim has over 20 years of working experience with financial institutions and international audit firm, including KPMG and Vattanac Bank. (Phnom Penh Post Khmer newspaper and Sathapana website)

5, 6, 7 Feb 2019

ACLEDA Bank partnered with JCB International (JCBI) to launch the ACLEDA JCB Debit Card in Cambodia. The agreement will enable ACLEDA JCB Debit Card holders to expand their payment coverage at over 30 million JCB merchants around the world. The new co-branding card is available in either USD or KHR, and can facilitate both domestic payment on the ACLEDA Bank network and global payment network. (ACLEDA Facebook and website, Khmer Times newspaper, Kampuchea Thmey newspaper, Koh Santepheap newspaper)

8 Feb 2019

Hong Leong Bank advertised its Fixed Deposit account opening at the highest interest rate of 4.75% for USD and 5.75% for KHR for a 12-month deposit. The Bank also offers Business Loans at a standard term of 8% for both USD and KHR. (Khmer Times newspaper)



4 Feb 2019

National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) reported that the currency exchange rate between Khmer Riel and US Dollar was stable at an average of 4,050 riels per US Dollar in 2018. NBC claimed to use less riels to buy US Dollars, and thanks to more financial institutions that used the central bank’s new monetary policy instruments, the exchange rate remained stable.

In 2018, NBC injected USD 875 million worth of riel, 9% lower than in 2017, into the economy to stabilize the exchange rate. It also held 12 LPCOs, making one billion riels available to financial institutions in an auction in which repurchase agreements were signed for 697 billion riels ($172 million). There were 12 financial institutions successfully bidding in the auction last year, increased from just five in 2017. (Phnom Penh Post Khmer and English newspaper and website)

4, 5 Feb 2019

National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) signed an MoU with the Bank of Thailand to launch a QR code payment system that will use both Cambodian Riel and Thai Baht. The aim is to support the collaboration on developing interoperability of standard QR code for efficient and secure domestic and cross-border payment transactions, as well as to promote usage of local currencies and financial innovation in both countries.

The pilot project on developing standard QR code payment has already been agreed to facilitate retail payment services in Cambodia and between the two countries.

Chea Serey, NBC Director General, said “The system will make payments more convenient for tourists and firms while also strengthening the local currency of both countries. It will make it easier for Cambodian businesses to buy Thai goods in Thai Baht, and for Thai traders to pay in Khmer Riel as well.” (Khmer Times newspaper and website, Rasmei Kampuchea newspaper, Koh Santepheap newspaper)

8 Feb 2019

Digicro Pte Ltd, a Cambodia-based digital microfinance start-up, raised $300,000 in seed capital from the Tokyo-headquartered Showcase Capital Co., Ltd. to develop a microloan service app “Spean Loan”. The app will enable borrowers to apply for small loans ranging from $50 up to $1,000 without paperwork or an office visit. It employs machine learning to build a credit scoring system and evaluate a client’s ability to repay before allowing them to borrow.

“More than 60 per cent of Cambodians have access to internet but many of them still cannot get a loan because they have lack official documents or collateral to provide, or they live in a remote area where banks don’t operate,” said Yuta Nagano, the founder of the Digicro. “Our team developed Spean Loan to serve those underserved through our app. The instant approval will help micro entrepreneurs get their daily working capital and people who need emergency funds,” he added. (Phnom Penh Post website)

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