By Rupinder Singh
OSK Holdings Bhd (5053) wants to expand its presence in Cambodia with plans to open at least two new branches a year and introduce services like electronic banking and Internet banking, says a company executive.
OSK owns a commercial bank called OSK Indochina Bank Ltd in Cambodia with eight branches in five provinces.
"We are already in the first and second tier cities ... so our focus would be in expanding to third tier cities," said OSK Indochina chief operating officer and country head Lim Loong Seng.
To fast track its expansion, the company aims to set up more automatic teller machines (ATM) and launch its Internet banking later next year.
"We will be expanding our ATM network and install them at higher traffic areas such as shopping malls and factories. We are already embarking on that," Lim told the media after the official opening of four new branches in an event in Siem Reap, Cambodia on Friday.
With each new branch costing between US$400,000 to US$500,000 (RM1.2 million to RM1.5 million) to set up, Lim said, ATMs would be a cheaper way to reach the masses.
OSK Indochina branches are equipped with Cambodia's first ever 24-hour full-function ATM, offering cash deposit, cash withdrawal, cheque deposit, and cross currency withdrawal facilities, all in one.
Lim said Cambodia represents an enormous opportunity given that less than 10 per cent of the 14 million population has a bank account.
"All we need is basically 5 per cent of the 12.6 million people who don't have a bank account. That is sizeable," he said.
Meanwhile, OSK Indochina's four new branches are located one each in the province of Battambang, Kampong Cham, Preah Sihanouk and Siem Reap.
"With the addition of the four new branches, we will be able to reach out to serve a wider section of the Cambodian population and businesses especially people in the provinces," he said.
OSK Indochina has presence in five of Cambodia's provinces.
The bank recorded a maiden profit of RM234,000 for the first six months to June 30 2010.
OSK Investment Bank group managing director and chief executive officer Ong Leong Huat expects at least a 5 per cent return on investment from OSK Indochina next year.
The group's subsidiary, OSK Indochina Securities Ltd, was recently granted a licence to undertake securities underwriting business, securities dealing business, securities brokerage business and investment advisory business in Cambodia.
Ong said Cambodia holds great potential for the OSK group, more so with the opening of its capital market next year which is expected to spur foreign direct investment and the economy.