Post Bank Opens, Boosts Confidence in Sector

Cambodia Post Bank, the much-anticipated venture between Canadia Bank PLC, the country’s postal service and an investment company owned by the Singaporean government, officially opened its doors Thursday.

The bank is a fully commercialized bank offering complete services, though it at first will focus on mass-market consumers and small and medium enterprises.

Canadia Bank, one of the country’s largest, holds a 50 percent stake, while Fullerton Financial Holdings, a subsidiary of Temasek Holdings, which is owned by the Singaporean government and whose CEO is the wife of the country’s prime minister, has a 45 percent stake in the bank.

Cambodia Post has the remaining 5 percent stake.

The bank plans to open branches inside the postal service’s offices across the country.

“We’re committed to Cambodia Post Bank for the long term,” said Gan Chee Yen, CEO of Fullerton Financial Holdings.

On Thursday morning, Mr. Gan announced the bank’s opening at Koh Pich City Hall to more than 500 banking executives and government officials.

Lee Ah Boon, Fullerton’s chief operating officer, said the firm has invested about $17.1 million in Cambodia Post Bank.

Until now, Singapore has not been a leading investor in Cam­bodia, according to analysts, and the opening of Cambodia Post Bank likely will boost the confidence of foreign investors in the local banking sector.

“This is one of the most reputable national investors to make a strategic investment in the Cambodia banking sector. It signals Cambodia as being a mainstream investment destination,” said Douglas Clayton, founder and CEO of Leopard Capital, a leading private equity firm in the Asian market.

The bank so far has 11 branches—five in Phnom Penh and six in the provinces—with plans to open 11 more in Kompong Cham, Prey Veng, Svay Rieng, Takeo, Kratie, Sihanoukville, Pailin, Banteay Meanchey and Poipet provinces over the next year.

At its headquarters adjacent to Canadia Tower on Russian Boulevard Thursday afternoon, the red sheets of cloth that covered Cambodia Post Bank’s signage for weeks were removed as staff assisted some patrons inside.

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