Biweekly News Collection No.22

No.22 (Dec 11, 2020)

Market Industry Trends

CBC mobile app launched to promote credit management. Credit Bureau (Cambodia) Co Ltd (CBC) has recently launched its “CBC Mobile” application to promote credit transparency, financial health, financial literacy, and responsible credit management in Cambodia. The CBC is an independent provider of financial information, analytical solution, and credit reporting services to Cambodia’s financial institutions and consumers. Once registered with the application, it allows users with a loan history to track their credit score, access their credit reports, and receive real-time credit monitoring alerts, said the CBC. The application will enable users to monitor their credit health and provide financial institutions with a credit scoring system that will promote transparency between both parties. (Phnom Penh Post)              

Online customs drive to accelerate trade by road. The online ASEAN Customs Transit System (ACTS) was launched recently to accelerate trade in goods by road within Southeast Asia. The system has now been formally launched in Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. It will be available to other member states soon. Being developed with the support of the European Union, ACTS is simplifying the movement of goods across the region, making it more efficient and cost-effective. The system enables transporters to make a single customs transit declaration that covers the transport of goods across multiple countries, without the need to make repeated customs declarations or change vehicles at each border. Special arrangements allow reliable traders to load their goods at their premises in the country of departure, and to deliver the goods to their premises at other places. Faster customs clearance at borders helps accelerate transit and reduce the time and expenses needed for carrying out regional trade in goods. This system will be an excellent tool in enhancing trade and unified the market within ASEAN. (Khmer Times)

Three solar stations set to generate power earlier next year. Three solar stations will start generating power and link to the grid earlier next year, as currently, the projects are 90% complete. The three solar construction projects consist of a 20-megawatt solar plant invested by Green Sustainable Ventures Co., Ltd. located in Bavet city, Svay Rieng province; a 30-megawatt solar plant in Banteay Meanchey province’s Serey Sophorn district, invested by Ray Power Supply Co., Ltd.; and 60-megawatt solar plant in Battambang province’s Thmar Kol district, owned by Risen Energy Co., Ltd. Currently, Cambodia has renewable energy sources generated from solar stations including a 10-megawatt solar farm in Bavet, Svay Rieng province, 80-megawatt solar station in Kampong Speu province, 60-megawatt solar park in Kampong Chhnang province, 5-megawatt solar in Bavet, and 30-megawatt solar station in Pursat province. (Khmer Times)

Market Deals

WorldBridge’s SME cluster project breaks ground. WorldBridge Industrial Development’s i4.0 SME Cluster project has officially broken ground in Takhmau city, Kandal province. The total investment worth between $28 to $30miliion (exclude the price of land) and construction is expected to complete by end of 2021. This project is seen as an innovative and strategic solution for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and industrial development in Cambodia. It aims to promote and booth the competitive ability of SMEs in terms of production, business, and services. The zone will provide a complete and flexible production line including a service center, training facility, food court, medical center, conference hall, and office space, as well as other utility supplies for factories. Besides, the cluster will also include logistics, supporting services (accounting, human resources, information technology, etc.), and a services center that will provide domestic transport, import-export clearance, on-site customs, cold storage packaging, and value-added services. SME Cluster project will be a place to support SMEs in terms of having sufficient market access, capital, and training in various skills, logistics and transportation, and energy efficiency, as well as helping those players to form complete value chains. (Khmer Times)

Peer to Peer Singapore lender launches services in Kingdom. Rai Capital, a newly established peer to peer (P2P) lending marketplace based in Singapore, has officially launched in Cambodia. It is a joint venture with Goldbell Financial Services, one of Singapore’s leading non-bank business finance providers. Recognizing the lack of financial inclusion in the lending market and the scarcity of financiers for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), Rai Capital is setting out to facilitate access to credit and reduce the financing gap by introducing a crowd-lending platform for MSMEs in Cambodia. According to The United Nations, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, MSMEs account for 99% of the total businesses in Cambodia, with most businesses being micro-enterprises with fewer than 10 employees. As a pioneering P2P lending marketplace platform, Rai Capital can get on board suitable investors around the region such as accredited or corporate investors and financial institutions outside Cambodia. This platform is accessible via mobile application. Currently, the firm is looking out for potential partners and is discussing with local payment providers in Cambodia. (Khmer Times)

Yet another commercial bank get principle approval for Cambodian setup. A Malaysian investment company, G Capital Bhd, has announced that it has received licensing in principle from the National Bank of Cambodia to establish a full-fledged commercial bank under the name “Oriental Bank Plc”. According to a news reported by The Edge Markets, the group has agreed with Public Bank Bhd’s Indo-China operations regional head Datuk Phan Ying Tong and Cambodian firm E S Packaging Co Ltd to jointly undertake the venture. The driving motivation for the establishment of the bank is the financial health of Cambodia which has shown steady growth and its banking sector has emerged as one of the most robust industries set on making healthy profits, according to the group. (Khmer Times)

Macro-economy

ADB approves $70 million loan to strengthen agricultural value chain and food safety in Cambodia. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $70 million loan to improve the capacity of agribusinesses in six provinces across Cambodia to process key agricultural products such as cassava, cashews, mangoes, vegetables, and poultry. Under the agricultural value chain competitiveness and safety enhancement project, it aims to benefit about 230 agricultural cooperatives and 50 agribusinesses in the provinces of Kampong Cham, Kampong Thom, Oddar Meanchey, Preah Vihear, Siem Reap, and Tboung Khmum. Processed agro-based goods now account for just 4% of GDP, due to the lack of diversification and value-added products. According to ADB, the project will facilitate access to credit, reinforce finance schemes including credit lines and credit guarantees for agribusiness. This project will also support initiatives to strengthen food safety and quality across the value chains for cassava, cashews, mangoes, vegetables, and native chickens. It will help agricultural cooperatives adopt good agricultural practices and upgrade food-safety testing laboratories to gain international accreditation. (Khmer Times)

CDC okays five projects worth $121M. The Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) had recently issued final registration certificates to five investment projects worth more than $121 million and expect to generate 1,334 jobs. The CDC issued final registration certificates for Inter-Mattrid Beverage (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s $78 million (brewery plant), Ruizexing Chemical Technology Co Ltd’s $20.1 million (agricultural pesticide plant), Sing Fu Sun (Cambodia) Plastic Co Ltd’s $11.7 million (PET perform factory), Blissfull Capital Co Ltd’s $9.5 million (commercial center along National Road 2), and Chunteng Industrial (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s $2.6 million (pet-friendly upholstery-fabric factory). The upsurge of inflow investment shows that investors are positive about the future economic recovery of Cambodia despite the damages caused by Covid-19. (Khmer Times)

Russia FTA feasibility study on the cards. Cambodia and Russia are planning a joint feasibility study on a potential free trade agreement (FTA) aiming to reinforce trade and investment ties between the two countries. This mechanism will facilitate the cooperation of the two nations in investment, culture, education, etc. Cambodia had expressed its intention in conducting a feasibility study on a bilateral FTA with Russia as soon as possible. Notably, bilateral trade between the two countries was to the tune of $45.15 million in the first 10 months of the year, representing an increase of 4.5% year-on-year, based on figures from the Ministry of Commerce. (Khmer Times)

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