Japan financial firm SBI gets commercial bank license in Cambodia

02, Apr. 2020


BANGKOK, NNA - Major Japanese financial firm SBI Holdings Inc. has obtained a commercial bank license in Cambodia, re-entering the emerging Southeast Asian country after a four-year hiatus.

Its microfinance joint venture, SBI Ly Hour Bank Plc, will start full operations in June such as retail banking and arbitrage loans, SBI said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Japanese financial firm renamed the joint venture from Ly Hour Microfinance Institution Plc to SBI Ly Hour Bank after acquiring a 70 percent stake from Ly Hour, chairman of local financial service firm Ly Hour Group, for $44.2 million last year.

In Cambodia, it is rare for a microfinance firm to be upgraded to a commercial bank, SBI said in the statement.

SBI established Phnom Penh Commercial Bank in 2008 in partnership with South Korea's Hyundai Swiss Group but pulled out of the Cambodian banking sector in 2016 by selling its entire shares in the Phnom Penh bank as part of business restructuring. (NNA/Kyodo)