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Credit in Cambodian Banking Sector Surpasses $4B in 2011

Loan disbursals in Cambodia’s baking sector increased by 33 percent to more than $4 billion last year, as the credit to the housing market and agricultural sector saw the largest amount of growth, the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) said in its annual report, released yesterday.

While bankers said growth in the market was justified on the back of a strong economy, economists warned that a credit bubble could appear unless banks improved their ability to access the credit worthiness of borrowers.

According to the report, a third of all loans in the banking industry went to the retail and whole sale sectors in 2011, while loans to the agriculture and housing sectors together made up 15.1 percent of the market. Total loan disbursals rose to $4.36 billion in 2011, compared to $3.28 billion in 2010.

“We are seeing good growth in the sector,” said in Channy, CEO of Acleda Bank, the largest bank in the country. “We know their cash flow, how much of a loan they should get and we are better able to assess what they need to grow.” Acleda’s loan portfolio grew by 34.6 percent to $1.02 billion in 2011.

It was not only the commercial banks that experienced a large amount of credit growth last year. The NBC report also said that total loans handed out by microfinance institutions (MFIs) increased 50 percent to $641.53 million.

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