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Singapore's Phillip Capital acquires Malaysian-owned Cambodian bank

PHNOM PENH, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- The Singapore-based Phillip Capital Group has purchased a Malaysian-owned Hwang-DBS Commercial Bank in Cambodia for 40 million U.S. dollars and rebranded it as Phillip Bank on Thursday, a bank's chief said.

Phillip Bank's chairman Lim Hua Min said the Phillip Capital Group, which is an Asian financial service provider, acquired the bank in March this year after Hwang-DBS (Malaysia) Bhd decided to exit its business in Cambodia.

"Cambodia has a young population with much promise and potential," he said in a press conference. "Beyond microfinance and banking, our group is keen to expend our participation in other financial services, such as leasing, life insurance and general insurance."

He said the group has also held stakes in three microfinance institutions in Cambodia since 2009.

Neav Chanthana, deputy governor of the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC), said the presence of Phillip Capital Group clearly showed foreign investors' confidence in Cambodia's financial industry.

"I have confidence that the new investment will bring new experience and technical expertise for the banking and financial development to the bank in particular and to the banking sector in general," she said.

The Southeast Asian nation has the population of about 14.8 million with 35 commercial banks in operations. According to the NBC, those banks are serving approximately 2 million borrowers and 3 million depositors.

As of June this year, a total asset in Cambodia's whole banking system was up to 14.5 billion U.S. dollars, said Neav Chanthana.

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