WEEKLY ECONOMIC UPDATED
Updated: 26 Oct-01 Nov,2019

TRADE & COMMERCE | Cambodia Remains Vulnerable to Money Laundering: FATF

Cambodia is finding it hard to shake off its reputation as a ‘haven’ for dirty money. Despite the government’s best efforts, the Kingdom remains among the countries most vulnerable to the flow of illegal money, according to the latest report coming from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The Paris-based FATF is a global money laundering and terrorism financing watchdog. It was formed in 1989 as part of a G7 initiative against money laundering. In 2001, its mandate was expanded to include terrorism financing. The FATF has 41 member countries, including Cambodia. The ‘grey list’ released by the FATF last week included the Kingdom and 11 other countries, mostly from Africa, the Caribbean, Middle East, and South Asia. Also on the list are Bahamas, Botswana, Ghana, Iceland, Mongolia, Pakistan, Panama, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Yemen, and Zimbabwe. To conduct the evaluation, representatives from the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) Secretariat and some member countries visited each country to meet with relevant government agencies and officials. (Nov 01, 2019 | Khmer Times)

TRADE & COMMERCE | Kingdom Will Export One Million Tonnes of Rice By 2022, Says CRF

The Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) has committed to raising the Kingdom’s rice exports to one million tonnes by 2022, its president Song Saran said on Wednesday. The comment was made at the Strategic Plan 2020-2023 Consultation Workshop, which was attended by CRF members, ministry representatives, government agencies and international stakeholders. In an effort to attain its goal, the CRF will export 35 per cent of its rice to the Chinese market, 30 per cent each to Europe and Asean countries, and five per cent to other markets said, Saran.  Of that, luxury fragrant rice will account for 30 per cent of its exports, regular fragrant rice 40 per cent and regular rice 30 per cent, he said. “To meet export demand, we have a special interest rate credit package of $200 million to purchase rice during the harvest season,” he said, adding that the available funds can buy around 500,000 tonnes of paddy – particularly jasmine varieties – during the season. (Oct 30, 2019 | Phnom Penh Post)

TOURISM | Travel Boom Has Not Made World Smaller, Says Renowned Writer Iyer

From crowded temples at Angkor Wat to queues to scale Everest, there’s no escaping the downsides to mass tourism, but renowned writer Pico Iyer says the boom in world travel has brought positive changes. Speaking to reporters ahead of his headline appearance at next month’s Hong Kong International Literary Festival, the author argues that people are sometimes “so aware of the bad things tourism brings, we forget the good things”. “In many cases, in Rajasthan in India or Bali, the advent of tourists has woken people up to native customs and traditions that might have been falling away, and moved them to take care of their heritage and even expand it,” he says. And while he has noticed a huge increase in visitors to Japan, his home for three decades, the 62-year-old doesn’t think people should stay away. In Kyoto, where the serenity of the city’s ancient shrines and temples draws less-than-peaceful daily crowds, he says it is still possible for travellers to walk their own path. ( Oct 30, 2019/ Khmer Times)

TOURISM | Lodging In Sister’s Farm Near Ancient Wat Athvea In Siem Reap

Siem Reap is a historical city with hundreds of temples scattered across its surroundings. And one such heritage site is the Roluos Group of temples. Wat Athvea temple is among the province’s many medium-sized temples that most people don’t know and see since as they are overshadowed by the likes of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm, Bayon, Bakheng and Bakong. Located some 6km south of Siem Reap town, Wat Athvea is an ancient Hindu temple featuring a distinctive design and style of devata (sacred female images). The design indicates that it was built during the reign of King Suryavarman II (circa 1115-1150 AD) – the monarch who also built Angkor Wat. Those who visit Wat Athvea temple can opt to lodge in the eco-friendly resort Sister’s Farm Bungalow, which only started operations in August this year. (Oct 30, 2019 |Khmer Times)

FINANCE AND BANKING | Bank of Ayudhya Eyes Expanding Payment System to Cambodia

Thailand’s Bank of Ayudhya is looking to expand ‘Quick Respond’, a QR code-based payment system, to Cambodia, among other countries in the region. Bank of Ayudhya, also known as Krungsri, said it is looking to make the cross-border, QR-code payment system available in Cambodia, Lao and Vietnam, Bangkok Post reported on Wednesday. “The bank has scheduled negotiations on expanding the service for next year,” said Thakorn Piyapan, head of Bank of Ayudhya’s digital banking and innovation division. He noted that customers of Siam Commercial Bank, Kasikornbank and Bangkok Bank can now scan a barcode to make cross-border payments through Quick Respond, which will be expanded to other Thai banks in the future. In February, the central banks of Cambodia and Thailand signed a memorandum of understanding to create a payment system based on QR codes. Named ‘Interoperable QR Payment,’ it aims to facilitate cross-border exchanges in local currencies. (Nov 01, 2019/Khmer Times)

FINANCE AND BANKING |Malaysia’s Silverlake Axis to Empower Local Banking Sector

Silverlake Axis, a Malaysian-based banking technology company aimed at providing modern solutions to financial problems, is working to improve banking in Cambodia. It held a workshop titled ‘Connecting to the World of Fintech’ at the Malaysian Embassy in Phnom Penh yesterday. “Today’s digital innovations are creating unprecedented new business opportunities, where competition is moving faster than ever, with the banking industry focusing on embracing the best available technology to propel their businesses forward and thrive,” said Andrew Tan, group managing director of Silverlake Axis, at the event. “Banks and financial institutions are looking to technology vendors to take the lead in enabling innovation and solving their business transformation challenges. These challenges vary with each bank hence we understand that having different innovative solutions to meet different needs is vital,” he added. Silverlake Axis has a presence in more than 80 countries around the world. (Oct 31, 2019/Khmer Times)

FINANCE AND BANKING | NNA Asia: SBI Holdings Set to Buy 70% Stake In Ly Hour MFI

Japanese online financial services group SBI Holdings Inc last week announced that it will acquire a 70 per cent stake in a Cambodia-based Ly Hour Microfinance Institution Plc (LHMFI) in a bid to re-enter the Kingdom’s banking sector, Japan-based Kyodo News Group’s economic news site NNA Asia reported. Citing a statement from SBI Holdings released on Wednesday, NNA Asia reported that the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) approved the acquisition on October 9. LHMFI is expected to be granted a banking licence shortly by the NBC to expand its business from its current services targeted at retailers, said the statement. SBI Holdings will initially acquire about 14.94 million shares in LHMFI from its existing shareholders by November 25 and purchase an additional 37.56 million shares on December 23, it said. The acquisition will carry an $81.7 million price tag and will transform the microfinance institution (MFI) into a commercial bank, which will operate under the new name – SBI Lyhour Bank Plc. (Oct 28, 2019/Phnom Penh Post)

REAL ESTATE AND CONSTRUCTION| Realestate.Com.Kh Adds Two New Features On Mobile App To Enhance Property Search Experience

Realestate.com.kh has recently launched two new features that are now available across the website platform and mobile application to create a more stress-free property search for its customers and users. Realestate.com.kh provides both online and offline marketing services in the real estate industry. To remain the top property-focused marketing company; it is one of the company’s main priorities to continually innovate and provide its users with the best user experience when it comes to property search. The app is available on both iOS and Android. Download now and enjoy with over 15,000 properties listed on Realestate.com.kh.  (Oct 30, 2019| Khmer Times)

REAL ESTATE AND CONSTRUCTION| Real Estate Growth Robust in H1: VTrust

Cambodia’s real estate sector experienced strong growth in the first half of the year, with robust market absorption for landed housing and condominiums, according to the latest report from VTrust Appraisal. Phnom Penh’s Property Market Update H1-2019 notes that 13,900 landed housing units from 82 projects were launched, while 4,600 were built. Residential link-houses represented about 65 percent (9,100 units) of the new launches, followed by purpose-built shophouses (21 percent or nearly 3,000 units). The report adds that market absorption for landed housing was 10 percent in the first half of 2019 (12 months for supply to be sold), while it was only 8 percent in the first half of 2018 (15 months for supply to be sold). (Oct 28, 2019| Khmer Times)

CAMBODIA  Selected  Indicators

2013

2014

2015

2016f

2017f

2018f

 

Real GDP growth, at constant market prices

7.4

7.1

7.0

7.0

6.9

6.9

 

Private  Consumption

5.8

4.5

5.9

2.4

2.3

2.2

 

Government   Consumption

5.2

2.4

4.4

3.8

10.3

14.5

 

Gross Fixed Capital Investment

15.3

9.1

10.6

8.1

9.7

16.8

 

Exports, Goods and Services

14.0

11.3

7.2

9.5

8.1

8.3

 

Imports, Goods and Services

15.1

10.1

6.5

5.9

5.8

7.9

 

Real GDP growth, at constant factor prices

7.4

6.9

6.9

6.9

6.9

6.9

 

Agriculture

1.6

0.3

0.2

0.4

0.3

0.7

 

Industry

11.0

9.8

11.7

11.4

9.0

7.7

 

Services

8.7

8.7

7.1

6.8

8.5

9.1

 

Inflation (Consumer Price Index)

2.2

1.7

1.3

3.2

3.4

3.5

 

Current Account Balance (% of GDP)

-9.5

-9.0

-8.5

-8.4

-8.5

-8.7

 

Financial and Capital Account (% of GDP)

15.2

14.6

14.1

13.4

12.0

10.8

 

Net Foreign Direct Investment (% of GDP)

11.8

10.0

9.1

8.5

8.2

7.0

 

Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)

-6.5

-3.8

-2.0

-2.9

-4.9

-4.9

 

Debt (% of GDP)

31.6

31.8

32.1

32.6

33.3

34.0

 

Primary Balance (% of GDP)

-5.8

-3.1

-1.7

-2.5

-4.6

-4.6

 

Sources: World Bank, Macroeconomics and Fiscal Management Global Practice, and Poverty Global Practice.

DISCLAIMER

The report is produced based on material compiled from data considered to be reliable at the time of writing. Information and opinions expressed, however, will be subjected to adjusted at short notice. We do not accept any liability directly or indirectly that may arise from investment decision-making based on this report while we tend share as your information only.

 

All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be used without permission from SAMBAT Finance PLC.

 

 

 

Loading...