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Maybank aims high in Cambodia

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The Malaysian bank has a new CEO in Cambodia who plans to make the most of the lender’s regional scale and savvy to spot opportunities in an overbanked market.

When it comes to choosing a bank, Cambodians are spoilt for choice.

The southeast Asian country boasts 56 commercial banks, plus 11 so-called specialized banks and dozens of microfinance institutions – serving a population of just over 16 million. It is clearly overbanked.

A good comparison would be Taiwan, which has a population of close to 24 million and has 38 commercial banks, some two dozen credit cooperatives, 16 financial holding companies and a host of local branches of foreign banks. Bankers and analysts have been predicting that Taiwan’s market is ripe for consolidation for years.

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Rath Sophoan, Maybank

In such conditions, how can any bank differentiate itself from its many rivals?

The senior management of Maybank in Cambodia appears to know the answer.

Rath Sophoan, who took over as Maybank Cambodia’s chief executive recently, tells Asiamoney the firm has three things working in its favour: its focus on offering clients the whole suite of financial solutions instead of just single products; the importance it gives to speed-to-market, and in a secure way; and the regional capabilities which it can adapt to the domestic market.

“We are able to provide services that are not available to some of the other players in the market,” adds Qazreen Chan Abdullah, Maybank Cambodia’s chief operating officer.

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