PPCBank, one of the leading financial institutions in Cambodia, is looking forward to next year after a better-than-expected performance this year.
PPCBank relocated into Daun Penh. The Central Market branch was previously situated at the intersection of Monivong and Kampuchea Krom Boulevards. When it was relocated close to the famous hospital, it was renamed the Calmette branch. This means the bank’s presence across the capital was widened and that its leading suite of products and services is now more easily accessible for Phnom Penh’s main central business district.
Businesses in the Kingdom, including the banking sector, were not spared by the coronavirus pandemic. But contrary to initial projections, PPCBank was only ‘slightly’ affected by the pandemic.
“While Cambodia can be commended for managing to limit its COVID-19 case count to below 400 and has reported zero deaths, 2020 has presented unprecedented challenges to businesses across the kingdom, the region and the globe,” the bank said in a media release.
“Despite this, PPCBank is grateful of the corporate developments it has seen and the growth it has enjoyed over the first three quarters of 2020. As a result, the bank is approaching 2021 with confidence,” it added.
The highlights for this year is 15 percent growth for deposits, as well as listing in the Cambodian Stock Exchange.
The year has seen PPCBank increase its presence across the kingdom. Its branch network has been expanded, with the addition of two new branches in the capital. The first to open was on Preah Sihanouk Boulevard, with the second on Chroy Changvar, bringing the number of PPCBank branches across Cambodia to 23.
The number of ATMs has also grown significantly this year to 65. This means increased convenience for clients, bringing PPCBank ever closer to them.
One more new SME Centre has also opened this year in line with PPCBank’s commitment to make it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access banking services.
One SME Centre was opened in the Heng Ly Market branch in 2019, with the other in the new Chroy Changvar branch. These two centers, both strategically located, have contributed to a 6.82 percent increase in PPCBank’s SME clients by end of Q3.
Business owners, according to PPCBank, appear to be enjoying the bank’s approach, with dedicated staff offering in-depth consultation services, designed to tailor loan products with some of the most favorable conditions on the market. Information and assistance are also given in diversifying payment methods through contactless card terminals. “Not only are these helping SMEs collect payments safely from their customers, but are also reducing their operational costs, which has been a major focus for the vast majority of business owners this year,” it noted.
The biggest step PPCBank took in 2020 was its successful listing on the Cambodian Stock Exchange. The plan had been to list in one phase, but, like so many other plans this year, COVID-19 changed that, with PPCBank listing in two phases. While this split was a Cambodian-first, the practice is quite normal in South Korea, which is home to PPCBank’s owners, the JB Financial Group and Apro Financial Co.
According to PPCBank, phase two of the listing was oversubscribed, demonstrating local confidence in the bank’s performance.
Across the two phases, according to figures supplied by the bank, a total of 800,000 bonds were snapped up with a total value of 80 billion Khmer Riel (KHR). This represents a value of 100,000 KHR per bond.
“The bonds have a maturity period of three years, with an attractive interest rate of 6.5 percent per annum. Funds raised are directed towards the continuous support the bank provides to SMEs, with them having been so hard hit by the pandemic,” the bank said.
The stock market listing and the bank’s ongoing investment in SMEs have paid dividends for PPCBank this year, according to the media release.
As a listed company, PPCBank said it fully complies with reporting regulations. CSX will be disclosing performance results for 2020 on all the listed entities after review, it was learned.
“In a year where PPCBank had planned to get even closer to its customers, the pandemic meant it needed to learn how to maintain a safe, “social distance”. The bank quickly understood how important it was becoming for customers to have options when it came to managing their finances, without needing to visit branches in person,” the bank stressed. Because of that, functions, such bill payments for utilities and the facility to transfer money to local banks and to international banks via SWIFT were introduced on the Mobile App.
Contactless VISA cards became another preferred way of avoiding handling cash. PPCBank ran a promotion waiving card exchange fees for those who wanted the contactless payment method. “Clients in Phnom Penh can still get free delivery of their new contactless VISA cards,” the bank noted.
To further help their clients access reliable information amidst the pandemic, PPCBank set up a 24/7 customer service centre available via several phone numbers, as well as a live chat through Facebook, the bank’s website, the Mobile App and its corporate banking solution, smartBiz.
“With the pandemic still with us, PPCBank understands that people are still choosing to interact remotely, hence the launch of its new website, which is available in Khmer and English,” the press release mentioned. It was also pointed out that the pandemic has made travelling quite hard. With a good number of its clients being from South Korea, Japan and China, PPCBank said it understands how important it is for those clients to have up to date information on hand.
“That’s how “Japan Desk” section of the website was launched, enabling Japanese clients to access information online. Information in Korean and Chinese is also on the way to make the decision process as safe and convenient as possible for all of the bank’s clients even if they are forced to be away from Cambodia for now,” PPCBank disclosed.
“With vaccines slowly being approved and rolled-out around the world, we can all start to see some light at the end of the very long tunnel that 2020 has been,” the bank concluded. PPCBank was established in Cambodia in 2008. Since then, it has grown to become one of the leading and fastest-growing financial institutions in the Kingdom with nearly $100 million paid up capital. The bank currently employs nearly 500 people, majority of them Cambodians.
This article was first published in Khmer Times. All contents and images are copyright to their respective owners and sources.