Hong Kong's Chief Holdings opens specialized bank in Cambodia

Hong Kong's Chief Holdings opens specialized bank in Cambodia

PHNOM PENH, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- China's Hong Kong-based Chief Holdings on Sunday launched a Chief Cambodia Specialized Bank here, focusing its loans on agriculture and small and medium businesses, the bank's officials said.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, Wai Ming Loke, Chief Executive Officer of Chief Holdings Group, said the firm decided to choose Cambodia as its strategic center to expand businesses in the Indochina region.

"Our investment decision came after we have observed that the country is one of the best for investment," he said. "Cambodia is a very stable country with a lot of opportunities for businesses."

Soeung Morarith, general manager of the Chief Cambodia Specialized Bank, said the firm invested 10 million U.S. dollars in the bank.

"The bank will provide loans mainly to agriculture, particularly rice and cassava sectors in order to increase Cambodia's exports of these products to China," he said.

Since its establishment in 1979, Chief Holdings has grown into an internationally-recognized firm. Currently, it is doing businesses in securities trading services, commodities, assets management, and market research services.

Chea Chanto, governor of the National Bank of Cambodia, said the bank's operations in Cambodia truly reflected foreign investors' confidence in the country's security, political stability and banking sector.

"I believe that the bank will contribute to developing the Cambodian economy and help attract more Hong Kong investors to do businesses in Cambodia," he said.

According to the Cambodian banking law, a specialized bank is required a registered capital of 7.5 million U.S. dollars.

Chief Holdings has become the eighth specialized bank operating in Cambodia.In addition to specialized banks, Cambodia now has 34 commercial banks and 37 microfinance institutions.