South Korean Firm Eyes Local MFI

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South Korean firm NongHyup Financial Group has announced its intentions to expand its presence in Southeast Asia through a series of acquisitions, with Cambodia playing a key role in its strategy for the new year.

Nonghyup mart wikimedia/iTurtle

The financial firm is now vying to acquire a Cambodian microfinance institution (MFI) by the end of the month, according to a report released yesterday in The Korea Times.

The Cambodian MFI was not mentioned by name in the report.

“Like other countries in the region, Cambodia’s microfinance market has lower barriers against foreign financial firms. Along with NongHyup, other Korean financial groups are eyeing microfinance markets in Southeast Asia as additional revenue sources,” the report said.

“If the acquisition deal closes successfully, it will be the group’s latest move in Cambodia, which is rising as the group’s key Southeast Asian market.”

Last month, NongHyup’s chairman Kim Yong-Hwan met with Cambodia’s Posts and Telecommunication Minister Tram Iv Tek in Seoul and agreed to work together to help Cambodia Post break into the local financial sector.

NongHyup Financial is a financial holding firm of South Korea’s National Agricultural Cooperative Federation, or NongHyup.

So Phonnary, the Vice-President of Acleda Bank, welcomed the entry of the company into the local financial market, saying it will make the sector more competitive.

“All competition is good for the sector, as long as it is fair and ethical,” she said. “More banks means more choices for customers.

“Every player in the market has its own sector that it focuses on. NongHyup Financial, for example, comes from the real estate sector.

“Every new entrant brings with it a new level of service that forces other companies in the industry to readjust to match it,” she said.

This article was originally published in the Khmer Times.