WHOLESALE BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, Vietnam

Vietnamese banks attracted to Cambodian market

A favourable business environment is urging many Vietnamese banks to invest in Cambodia this year.


Maritime Bank is opening wholly foreign-invested branches and is also considering opening joint ventures that operate in securities, insurance, remittances and financial leasing sector in Laos and Cambodia.

On the other hand, Sai Gon – Ha Noi Commercial Bank is completing final procedures to open its branch in Cambodia. A bank representative said the bank had studied in detail whether Cambodia was a potential market for bank operations.

Maritime Bank Phnom Penh is expected to become a financial bridge for Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia, and contribute more added value to the Cambodian community.

Senior lieutenant-general Le Huu Duc, deputy minister of Defence and chairman of the management board of the Military Bank said the bank had opened a branch in Cambodia last year, reflecting its development strategy for the Indochinese.

Sacombank has had success in Cambodia, first establishing its branch in Phnom Penh in June, 2009. In October of last year, Sacombank decided to set up a 100 per cent foreign-invested bank in Cambodia.

Three Vietnamese banks also have a presence in Cambodia, Agribank, BIDV and Sacombank, making the banking environment even more competitive.

Foreign banks accounted for 65 per cent of the market share of the banking system, especially the most powerful and four largest banks, ACLEDA Bank, Canadia Bank, Campubank and ANZ Royal.

Cambodia had a rapid growth rate in recent years but credit and banking-service access of businesses and local residents were limited. The growth of capital mobilisation has been slow, and banking services have been poor.

In addition, card services and the inter-banking market are underdeveloped. Foreign exchange trading and the bond market barely exist.

The International Monetary Fund forecasts that the GDP growth rate of Cambodia will reach 7-8 per cent this year.

As a result of Cambodia's rising growth, Vietnamese businesses now face more competition from Cambodian companies.

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