Taiwan bank buys 100 pct shares of Cambodian bank

Cathay United Bank based in China's Taiwan has completed the acquisition of 100 percent stake in the Singapore Banking Corp. (SBC) in Cambodia and rebranded it as Cathay United Bank-Cambodia on Thursday.

Cathay United Bank obtained a 70 percent stake in SBC in September 2012 and purchased the remaining 30 percent in September last year for a complete takeover.

"Cathay United Bank reached an agreement to acquire 100 percent shares of SBC and changed its name from SBC to Cathay United Bank Corporation of Cambodia," Neav Chanthana, vice-governor of the National Bank of Cambodia, said during a ceremony marking the completion of the acquisition and the renaming of the bank.

"The purchase reflects foreign investors' confidence in Cambodian financial markets," she said, advising the bank to continue good cooperation with all banks and financial institutions in order to contribute to developing Cambodian banking sector and economy.

Chang-Ken Lee, president of Cathay Financial Holdings and Cathay United Bank, said the acquisition of SBC represented the initial entry by Cathay Financial Holdings into Cambodia.

"It is also an important part of our broader group strategy to expand into the Southeast Asian region," he said, adding that the bank has also eyed to expand its businesses into insurance and real estate and asset management.

Kith Meng, president of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, said this cross-border acquisition clearly reflected the increasing confidence of foreign investors in the financial markets in Cambodia.

"I have no doubt that the launching of operations by Cathay United Bank will help to support financial institutions to grow the Cambodia economy by providing its new Cambodian-based customers access to suitable and cost-effective financial services, " he said.

Currently, Cambodia has 34 commercial banks.

Cathay United Bank is the fourth bank from Taiwan that has invested in Cambodia. The other three banks are E. Sun Commercial Bank, Taiwan Cooperative Bank and Mega International Commercial Bank.


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