ANZ, Royal Group Finalize New Bank Deal

ANZ Banking Group Ltd, one of Australia’s four largest banks, finalized a deal with local business conglomerate the Royal Group on Monday to open branches in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap province.

ANZ will invest $9.9 million and the Royal Group will provide

$8.1 million in a joint venture that ob­servers say marks a milestone in the development of the country’s banking sector.

The deal was announced at a signing ceremony in Phnom Penh, attended by Royal Group Chairman Kith Meng and ANZ Chairman Richard Goode, as well as National Bank of Cambodia Governor Chea Chanto.

“The joint venture will create a leading retail banking presence and introduce modern payment systems…to assist the nation’s economic development,” Goode said at a news conference.

He said ANZ’s entry to Cam­bo­dia was a “natural” part of its ex­pan­sion in Asia. Australia is one of Cambodia’s largest development aid donors, contributing nearly $30 million to the country last year, he said.

Goode and Kith Meng met with Prime Minister Hun Sen on Mon­day and are expected to meet Cabinet Minister Sok An today.

Officials said that within six months ANZ could open branches with automated teller ma­chines, or ATMs, that cater to international travelers—a service not offered by any bank in Cam­bodia. The bank will be called ANZ Royal Bank Cambodia Ltd.

The joint venture will be split by a 55 to 45 proportion between ANZ and the Royal Group, mir­ror­ing business plans that the bank employs in Indonesia, said Rob Goudswaard, general manager of ANZ’s small business sector.

Kith Meng’s Royal Group owns the country’s leading mobile te­le­com­munications company, Mo­bi­Tel, and several other companies.

ANZ’s entry into Cambodia is “certainly the biggest company invested here from Australia” and likely will spur more investment from that country and others, said Tim Smyth, president of the Australian Business Association of Cambodia.

With assets at some $185 billion, ANZ is Australia’s largest bank in Asia.

“They’re a marquee name, so that’s got to say something to the other big players,” Smyth said.


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