First CEO Forum Addresses Economic Recovery

The Association of Banks in Cambodia hosted on May 25 the first CEO Forum under the theme “Economic Outlook and COVID Recovery of Cambodia and the ASEAN Region.”

The forum saw the support and collaboration of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and was broadcasted online via Zoom to financial institutions and other industry players. The event has brought together around 70 attendees from banks and other stakeholders.

In his opening remarks, Dr. In Channy, Chairman of the Association of Banks in Cambodia, said that the time for this discussion was most relevant at this time of economic distress. While the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) had just extended the restructuring efforts until the end of 2021, all financial institutions are still in need to understand how the Cambodian economy will evolve over the next few years.

“With many borrowers experiencing difficulties to make their loan payments and circa 12 percent of all loans restructured, an economic recovery is of outmost importance for borrowers as well as the financial institutions alike,” he added.

“The insights and prognoses by IMF will certainly help our institutions to prepare and to ensure the stability and long-term prosperity of our sector,” he added.

According to the IMF Resident Representative in Cambodia and Senior Economist Yasuhisa Ojima, the Cambodian economy is expected to grow 4.2 percent this year and 6 percent in 2022, following a 3.5 percent contraction in 2020. He said that the baseline growth projection will be revisited reflecting the recent surge in infection of COVID-19 or a so-called Feb. 20 Community Event.

Mr. Ojima added that financial sector looks stable mainly due to policy measures with easing financial conditions, and allowing loan restructuring until the end of December 2021.

He added, however, uncertainties remain especially for credits to real-estate and construction sector including from shadow-banking system and tourism sector. As long as uncertain remain high, policy restricting capital distributions would be warranted on grounds of prudence.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press