Saturday, July 25, 2009

Vietnamese bank plans Cambodian expansion

July 25, 2009
Tuoi Tre, VNA

Hanoi-based Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) expanded its network to Cambodia, opening a representative office in the capital on Sunday.

BIDV Board of Directors Chairman Tran Bac Ha said the bank planned a multi-pronged expansion in Cambodia.

Vietnam’s second-biggest bank by assets and partner Phuong Nam Co. will set up a wholly foreign-owned firm in Phnom Penh, the Investment and Development of Cambodia Co. (IDCC), with charter capital of US$100 million.

BIDV also plans to establish a 90 percent-owned insurance company and acquire a Cambodian commercial bank, Ha told a news conference on Thursday.

Once a suitable bank is acquired, BIDV will invest $50 million turning the entity into the Bank for Investment and Development of Cambodia (BIDC) to provide banking services for Vietnamese businesses and local firms in Cambodia.

BIDV has already invested about $15 million in Laos and Singapore.

“Cambodia currently has only 24 commercial banks with few banking services available,” Ha told Vietnam News Agency. “This is a good chance for Vietnam to enter this market.”

“About 400 Vietnamese businesses are active in Cambodia and this is a large source of clients for BIDC, which can help boost trade activities between the two countries,” he said.

In related news, national air carrier Vietnam Airlines has teamed up with the Cambodian government to open the country’s first state-owned carrier, Cambodia Angkor Airline.

The $100-million airline’s inaugural flight will leave the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh for Siem Reap on Monday.

Vietnam Airlines General Director Pham Ngoc Minh said the Cambodian carrier would offer direct flights between Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and a number of Southeast Asian and Northeast Asian destinations.

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