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Major Thai Lender Kasikornbank to Open First Cambodia Branch

Sum Manet / Khmer Times Share:

Kasikornbank, Thailand’s fourth-largest lender by assets, plans to open its first branch in Phnom Penh by August, according to a report from Nikkei Asian Review.
It already has a representative office but was recently granted a banking license, the report says.
Pipit Aneaknithi, head of the bank’s world business division, said he expects more opportunities for Thai banks to open in ASEAN member states with Thai baht transactions on the rise.
“The baht is one of the top 10 settlement currencies in the world,” he said. “The reason is that the currency is being used in trading among our neighboring countries, whose economies have been growing greatly in the past three years.”
The bank hopes to spur cross-border transactions by bringing its Thai clients together with potential business partners abroad. In 2016, its business partner targets have increased to 1,000, up from 700 last year.
So Phonnary, vice president of Acleda Bank, said the presence of the new bank would bring more challenges to the banking sector, but also force banks to improve services to remain competitive.
 “When they come, they will have different sectors to focus on or target. They, for example, come for the real estate sector,” she said. “When there are more banks, customers will have more choices to opt for better service one among the banks.”
 “The good thing is that new banks entering the market will bring their own unique services to customers, so it will make other banks strengthen their services for customers in order to compete in the market,” she added.
According to the annual report from National Bank released last month, credit growth at banks and microfinance Institutions nationwide increased by about 28 percent last year, while deposits rose 18.9 percent. Credit expanded by about 61.62 trillion riel ($15 billion), while deposits surged to about 51.61 trillion riel ($12.6 billion).
As at the end of the first half of last year, there were 36 commercial banks in Cambodia, 11 specialized banks, eight bank representative offices, 49 microfinance institutions, 42 rural credit operators and eight leasing financial firms.

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