Thai Bank to Target Small, Midsized Businesses

Thailand’s fourth-largest lender, Kasikornbank, has submitted a proposal to Cambodia’s central bank to open a branch in Phnom Penh in the second quarter of this year, according to the firm’s public relations officer.

“We have just finished the process of document submission to National Bank of Cambodia and [are] waiting for the results,” Sirinooch Arch-yaemsuan said in an email on Monday.

According to Thai media, the bank will focus on doing business with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

“Under our proposal, we will help develop the SME market in Cambodia because it is an area that has not been focused on by other foreign and local banks,” the firm’s executive director, Teeranun Srihong, was quoted as saying in The Nation last month.

If successful, the bank will join fellow Thai banks Krung Thai Bank and Siam Commercial Bank, the latter of which operates locally as Cambodian Commercial Bank.

Kasikornbank’s plan to enter Cambodia follows a warning from the International Monetary Fund last February that the country’s industry was “overbanked.”

A report compiled by an investment and advisory firm in December also found that most banks here were failing to generate a significant return on equity.

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