Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Cambodian commercial banks told to triple capital

PHNOM PENH, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) has tripled the minimum capital requirement for commercial banks in the Kingdom in an effort to tighten and strengthen the banking sector, national media reported Tuesday.

    According to a copy of an NBC directive, commercial banks in Cambodia are now requiring to have a minimum capital of 150 billion riel (about 36.5 million U.S. dollars), the Cambodia Daily newspaper said.

    Commercial banks will be allowed to maintain the current capital requirement of 50 billion riel (about 12 million U.S. dollars) if they have an influential shareholder that is a bank or financial institution with an investment grade rating from a reputable rating agency, the directive said.

    While the Cambodia's four main banks - Acleda, ANZ Royal, Canadia and the Cambodian Public Bank - are likely to be unaffected by the change in conditions, it remains to be seen how many of the country's 17 other commercial banks will measure up tothe new rules, the newspaper said.

    In addition, the country's six specialized banks, which only make loans and do not take deposits, must also increase their minimum capital to 30 billion riel (about 7.3 million U.S. dollars) unless they have a bank or financial institution influential shareholder with an investment grade rating, according to the NBC directive.

    All existing banks have until 2010 to meet the new requirements, the directive states.

    NBC Director General Tal Nai Im said that the new commercial bank requirements are aimed at making it more difficult for prospective banks to enter the sector in Cambodia.

    "Some banks that don't have the minimum might have to withdraw," she was quoted as saying.  

    

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