The Oriental Bank Plc held a launch ceremony at its headquarters in Phnom Penh, presided over by Chea Chanto, Governor of the National Bank of Cambodia. The programme consisted of a traditional blessing dance, the official handover of bank’s licence, ceremonial ribbon cutting and speeches.
Chairman of Oriental Bank Plc, Datuk Phan Ying Tong, opened the ceremony by praising the efforts of Chanto for effectively navigating the Covid-19 storm and helping to oversee Cambodia’s financial stability. He explained why he is enthusiastic about doing business in Cambodia.
“I have been asked, why Cambodia? Well my answer is simple – Cambodia is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world with an average growth of around 8 percent over the past few years”. He went on to commend Prime Minister Hun Sen for his government’s reforms on investment law that have created a “well planned, conducive and attractive for investors both local and foreign alike” which he attributed to the 9.6 percent increase in FDI inflows in 2021.
“For Oriental Bank’s team, it is exciting to see growth within us as professionals in our various capacities, as an organisation, and also in Cambodia’s developing economy. As the economy progresses, we want to be ready to meet the needs and demands of the growing local business community and the local population. We have strong confidence that our expertise will grow as we continue to undertake the challenges and opportunities in the years to come.”
Oriental Bank’s slogan is ‘more than just a bank’, reflecting their aspirations to provide more for their customers than conventional banking products. Their platform brings “secure, reliable and customer-centric products that are tailored to their customer’s needs through the implementation of state-of-the-art technologies for a convenient banking experience like never before.”
Their platform splits itself between convention banking and digital banking at a ratio of 40:60, allowing it to simplify arduous tasks in regular banking through digitisation in a way that is not confusing to new users familiar with conventional methods. Adopting digital banking solutions is an essential move in satisfying Cambodia’s growing market which is dominated by increasingly tech-savvy consumers.
“Our objective is to grow with our clients, who we consider our community and our partners. Our focus is to become a market leader in introducing simplified, convenient, and suitable digital products and services to our clients, giving us an edge over conventional banks. Oriental Bank will be a beautiful marriage between conventional and digital banking with a myriad of offerings.”
Ambassador of the Malaysia Embassy of Cambodia Eldeen Husaini Mohd Hashim stepped up to give his full support to Chairman Datuk Phan Ying Tong, also Malaysian.
“I’m honoured to be at this special event for the grand opening of the Oriental Bank in Cambodia. My kudos to Datuk Phan Ying Tong, founder of the oriental bank and his management team. It fills me with pride to see what a fellow Malaysian has achieved in Cambodia. I’m also pleased to know that all of his foreign staff are Malaysian. The economic transformation and GDP growth rate in Cambodia has been nothing short of phenomenal. Maintaining a high momentum of growth requires investment at a rapid pace. The government has been proactive and accommodating in creating a conducive environment for foreign investment.
“Likewise, bilateral trade continues to witness positive momentum. Even the scourge of the Covid-19 pandemic failed to halt the flourishing socio-economic and commercial ties between our two countries. In 2021, total trade between Malaysia and Cambodia increased 20.3% to $0.56 billion compared to $0.47 billion in 2020. I’m proud to say that Malaysia is now the third-largest source of cumulative FDI in Cambodia, and I’m even prouder to say we will not stop here. Our presence is not only for us. It is mutually fruitful for both Malaysians and Cambodians alike. Malaysia is one of Cambodia’s earliest friends, and our mutual sincerity in helping each other has been mutually steadfast to this day.”
Eldeen Husaini Mohd Hashim is determined to continue the long-standing brotherhood between Cambodia and Malaysia and push their corporate partnerships to new heights. He said that “the newly established Oriental Bank is the outcome of this mutual desire and marks another meaningful milestone in our two countries’ relationship.”
Chea Chanto, Governor of the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC), who won the Central Banker of the Year from the premier financial magazine ‘The Banker’, expressed his appreciation to Datuk Phan Ying Tong for his initiative in founding and opening the Oriental Bank.
“This investment will contribute to the further development of the banking and financial sector in accordance with the Financial Sector Development Strategy 2016-2025 and National Financial Strategy on Financial Inclusion 2019-2025 of the Government of Cambodia.”
Though there was a severe impact by the Covid-19 pandemic, Cambodia’s banking system has grown steadily and noticeably. By December 2021, banks’ total assets grew by approximately 17.5 percent (year on year) to 244.5 trillion riels and credit increased by about 22 percent to 157.3 trillion riels. Deposits have risen 16.6 percent to 142.9 trillion riels and shareholder equity increased by 12.2 percent to 46.9 trillion riels.
He added, “I strongly believe that Oriental Bank will comply strictly with our laws and prudential regulations. I believe they will compete fairly and transparently with other banking and financial institutions as well as bring experiences, modern technology and new financial products to fulfil their customer’s needs, now and in the future.”
This article was first published in Khmer Times. All contents and images are copyright to their respective owners and sources.