Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cambodia cuts bank reserve requirements

PHNOM PENH, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Cambodia's central bank said on Tuesday it would cut bank reserve requirements next month to 12 percent from 16 percent to try to stimulate more lending in the face of easing inflation and economic growth.

The bank was also lifting its restrictions on real estate lending as the sector had cooled off recently, reducing upward pressure on prices, director general Tal Nay Im told Reuters.

"The situation is getting better because the threats from the bubble in the real estate sector are no longer the main problem," she said.

Inflation in 2009 would be lower than the 13 percent estimated in 2008, she added.

The International Monetary Fund said in November that the continuing weakness in oil prices plus lower food prices and weaker domestic demand could bring inflation down to 7.5 percent for 2009.

Cambodia has 21 banks, many of them foreign-owned, although the sudden expansion on the back of near-double digit growth and a boom in the real estate sector around Phnom Penh has led to worries that some of th

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