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Can anyone open a bank account in Cambodia ?


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I have been told it's possible to get 6% interest on my savings in Cambodia. Is this true and what are the requirements ?

I live in Thailand.

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Siemreaper. that's interesting information. Do you have more on these analyses? I have bank in a Cambo and therefore I am pretty much interested in learning more about it. Any input is very much appreciated. THANKS!

I had a great report from one of the big accounting firms a few weeks back... but can't find it at the moment. In essence their advice was that outside of the Big 4 banks here have no idea how to manage loans or investments are massively underperforming and have no grounds for future success. Failure rates would be high (I think there are 20+ banks here) and some might be marginally attractive for consolidation but only marginally.

I'm on the road at the moment (in Thailand) but if I can dig up the original report when I get back... I'll let you know where to find a copy.

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Thanks that's very interesting. I am spreading some term deposits over a number of microfinance institutions. The better ones have their annual reports online. Some are in part owned by western companies/Trusts/banks or a japanese bank. Most of the smaller ones are very dubious.

I would be interesting if they name the bad apples. The percentage looks high but numberwise the smaller and dubious institutions seem to be in the majority. Which would confirm your source.

I thought Visionfund run by US missionaries should be ok as those guys are very good about money :))

Looking forward to read this report.

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Perhaps slightly off topic but what about opening an account in Laos? The term deposits are competitive with Cambodia and the LAK has been rising/staying steady with the USD for the last nine years with only one short period of exception. If you invest in microfinance institutes in Laos, you can get up to 16% and one of them, EMI, has been open since 2005 with an excellent track record. If you choose to not take the LAK currency risk and keep your money in USD, you can still get 7% through BCEL Bank, which is one of the largest and partially state owned. If I am not mistaken, you can also get around 7% for THB. Almost all banks in Laos require you to have a work permit, which is a USD$600 process that can be done through a lawyer.

Edited by DavidMavec
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to obtain a resident tax rate in Cambodia you will need a visa over 3 mths
otherwise you will pay tax as non resident which is much higher
Riel interest rate the highest then Baht and then USD
New options now are available as thai banks are opening branches here in SR but they do come under Cambodian Banking Law so there is a risk but doubt any collapse soon

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One thing not mentioned is the fact that no Cambodian banks have insurance coverage for deposits. The government insurance covers the bank in the case of failure. I was unable to find out to what extent. I have an account with Canadia Bank which, when I was living in Phnom Penh last year, did not yet have internet banking. Also, some banks charge horrible rates for ATM transactions - ANZ a case in point, $5.00 per transaction. One reason the banks pay high interest is the average business loan interest was 10% so quite a spread.

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The last time I got involved with amazingly high interest rates was with the Icelandic banks based in the UK.

They all went bust, although luckily the Isle of Man stepped in a paid depositors, but Guernsey refused, and the deposit has still not been returned in full, looks like I'll be taking a haircut.

Obviously Cambodia is not Iceland......unsure.png.pagespeed.ce.E7Vo3qsmeCQhPTdy

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Some microfinance institutions have a track record going back some 25years and increasing every year. Business model is variable from pathetic to professional. Growth in mf institutions is probably a little ahead of the general growth but Cambodia is developing rapidly, land values in Siem reap are crazy, in major spots over $2500 psm, even residential land is now fetching $250 psm up. Most major banks seem to be at least partially owned by ministers, many are Korean or Japanese backed and even Thai banks are now here, probably a lot more than 20 in total now.

Regards td

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Can you buy land in Cambodia?

Off topic but anyway, No ,not in your name but I think a company setup is possible,not 100% sure about that but you can also lease for 99 years.

Edited by INV
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I have been told it's possible to get 6% interest on my savings in Cambodia. Is this true and what are the requirements ?

I live in Thailand.

Balo,

There are various ways and means to open a Cambodian account as all bank policies are different. Most larger banks like you to have a E visa which is sometimes called a business visa. It isn't as such but they are not as advanced as Thailand with the visa systems.( For example retirees are on E visas as they don't have retirement visas yet) Anyway, you can apply for a month E visa on entry for the purpose of exploring/doing business in Cambodia for one month. You then convert this visa via a travel shop to an extension of stay E visa for 3,6,9 or 12 months.Rates obviously differ depending on length of your visa. A year is currently $285.

The main banks want this to prove residence in Cambodia to give you the preferetial tax rate deducted on interest at 6% as opposed to 14%. Some require a lease agreement and/or contract for your accommodation. Acleda bank requires a police report in addition. All these banks differ in their requirements. It is not difficult but can be time consuming and you have to run around. They are getting tougher on requirements. I can tell you this as I have just opened two new ones with Maybank and Acleda bank.

Accounts can be held in Thai baht, USD,Cambodian Riel, being the most popular with interest rates. Yes it's possible to get around 5.75% - 6% on USD accounts for fixed deposits of two years.They don't give these rates for Thai baht or fixed deposits for one year, it is less. Some pay interest monthly on request, some quarterly into your separate savings account with that particular bank. You can get an ATM card to withdraw in Thailand monthly or quarterly from most of the big banks. There will be a daily limit on cash withdrawels in Thailand and a fee charged each time. Most Cambodian big banks have online banking or at least the ability to access and view your account online.

Are they safe?? million dollar question. Are Thai banks, Lao banks or others safe?? I know Thailand was removing the guarantee on deposits by the government securing them or at least reducing it right down.

Somebody mentioned the accountancy report which I read. It basically warns of the fact there are 31 banks in Cambodia and many losing money and many not prepared for some reason to merge or be taken over or asking ridiculous sums to sell out when they are not even breaking even. It says this will lead to an inevitable meltdown at some point. Thai banks have opened in Cambodia already and more are planning to open adding to these numbers even more. These will be subsidiary banks of such as Bangkok Bank, Krung Thai bank etc but I doubt they will pay the interest rates currently being offered by the Cambodian banks. ANZ Royal is now paying only 2.5% on fixed deposits for example and is partly owned by ANZ Australia but is still a subsiduary and the main bank in Australia does not guarantee deposits. Maybank is the same.

http://www.phnompenhpost.com/post-weekend/cambodia%E2%80%99s-underperforming-banks-providing-little-joy-shareholders

Edited by Scouse123
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Scouse thanks for the info. Which accountancy report did you read? Siem Reaper also had some input but has not found his reference yet. I am interested in this info as I have some term deposits in Cambodia.

I check the online annual reports and the auditing reports. Plus I checked who are the shareholders. A of the Microfinance institutions are scary while others appear to be sound as Thaidrew had mentioned above.

If you could share a link, I am sure many would profit.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Scouse thanks for the info. Which accountancy report did you read? Siem Reaper also had some input but has not found his reference yet. I am interested in this info as I have some term deposits in Cambodia.

I check the online annual reports and the auditing reports. Plus I checked who are the shareholders. A of the Microfinance institutions are scary while others appear to be sound as Thaidrew had mentioned above.

If you could share a link, I am sure many would profit.

mike2011,

Sorry for late response,

I will certainly look and try dig it out. I have been getting blue screen on my computer last few days and have some info lost or I cannot find it, Yes, I do back up but need to get in and find exactly where I put it, and I am still awaiting repair for which I gave him money for the new parts for my hard drive up front,

I do know him and on this occasion, it's true, he hasn't been on form healthwise or at his best.

I, similarly to you, have a fair amount in the banks there so I always am on the ball regards keeping up to date with reports, audited reports from the banks etc.

I think Acleda, Canadia and ABA as well as Maybank are fairly solid . I won't include ANZ as too expensive on charges and too stingy on deposit rates.

Edited by Scouse123
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Last time I was in Cambodia, I was taken aside and advised, in hushed tones, to visit one of the street money changers. I'd wondered why the bank was devoid of any customers, save myself ...

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Scouse,

thanks.

He would you rate Vision Fund (I personally feel comfy with them), Hathatkasekar (sorry for spelling), Sathapana, Kredit, and Prasac?

I looked Hathatkasekar up and saw that the Norwegian Sovereign Fund is involved which seems to be reassuring.

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Scouse,

thanks.

He would you rate Vision Fund (I personally feel comfy with them), Hathatkasekar (sorry for spelling), Sathapana, Kredit, and Prasac?

I looked Hathatkasekar up and saw that the Norwegian Sovereign Fund is involved which seems to be reassuring.

Being absolutely honest I don't know.

I think for me Acleda bank is the way to go in terms of your cash being as safe as it can be.A lot of the other funds available I don't have adequate knowledge to advise.

Edited by Scouse123
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  • 3 weeks later...

Yes, anyone could open a bank account in Cambodia. Though many banks refuse to open accounts to tourists or those without residency status - that's not a legal requirement - it's just how it is.

However, with analysts predicting that up to 85% of Cambodia's banks are going to fail sooner rather than later. Putting money in a bank here is a much bigger gamble than putting it into a Thai back. The highest interest rates are also in Riel accounts not USD accounts and that means banking on no major exchange rate issues too....

Anyone can become a "resident" by entering the country on an ordinary visa and then getting a 1-year extension. It just means that in order to open up a Cambo bank account you first have to "sacrifice" a little over US$300 to the government before you can open a bank account.

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Can you buy land in Cambodia?

Only if "you" is a Cambodian.

You can buy Cambodian citizenship for around US$265,000 by making a donation to the government. A tad expensive perhaps, but that's one way.

Actually it's only $75,000... still not much of a bargain but better than that.

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  • 1 month later...

Opened accounts with Phnom Penh Commercial Bank and microfinance institutions as resident for withholding tax purposes, with passport and 3 year multiple entry visa, while living in LOS.

Really? Very interesitng except Cambodia doesn't have a 3 year multiple entry visa. It has 1 year visas only.

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