Why should we encourage greater utilisation of Khmer Riels

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Phnom Penh: According to the 2017 Annual Report of National Bank of Cambodia (NBC), the NBC had purchased a total of USD963.3 million from commercial banks, representing a growth of 17.3% from the previous year. This corresponded to nearly 4 billion Khmer Riels (KHR) being injected into the Cambodian economy to fulfil growing market demand and is certainly reflective of strengthening confidence in the national currency. Supported by the NBC, we have also observed a substantial increase in the number of KHR-denominated loan and deposit products being offered by banks across the nation.

Mr Hong Cheap, Head of Commercial Banking of CIMB Bank PLC (CIMB Bank), noted, “CIMB Bank is strongly supportive of the initiative to promote the use of KHR in all aspects of the Cambodian economy. Aside from offering banking products in KHR, we also encourage our customers to utilise KHR transactional services such as FAST for instantaneous interbank fund transfers, and same-day tax or utilities payment services.”

The increasing adoption of Khmer Riels is not only a source of pride for the nation, it also benefits the economy by reducing the dependence of local businesses on foreign currencies and associated risks in currency fluctuations. Furthermore, individuals and businesses alike can enjoy higher interest rates for their funds if they choose to save in Khmer Riels. For instance, CIMB Bank offers 6.00% per annum for a 12-month KHR fixed deposit compared to 4.00% per annum for the equivalent in USD.

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