Towards this end, the company would be tapping the expertise of season banker Datuk Phan Ying Tong to lay down the groundwork and strategies to penetrate the Cambodian banking sector. Phan would also be in the management team of the new bank. PETALING JAYA: Fresh from getting approval to set up a full-fledged commercial bank in Cambodia, G Capital Bhd is already mapping out plans to carve a significant presence in the country as it moves to list the banking entity in the next five years. Towards this end, the company would be tapping the expertise of season banker Datuk Phan Ying Tong to lay down the groundwork and strategies to penetrate the Cambodian banking sector. Phan would also be in the management team of the new bank. G Capital would have a minimum of 20% in the banking venture. On Dec 8, the company entered into a head of agreement with Phan and ES Packaging Co Ltd (Cambodia) to jointly establish a new bank named Oriental Bank Plc in Cambodia. When contacted via e-mail, Phan told StarBiz that the bank, which is targeting to commence operations by the third quarter of next year, would be engaging in a 60:40 digital and conventional banking approach respectively. “This is the strategy to capture the market share of the tech savvy consumers as well as those who prefer the brick-and-mortar banking experience. Additionally, studies have found that a stronger focus into digital solutions will enhance a bank’s profitability, perceived value, convenience, functional quality and service quality. “Digital banking innovations are important in improving customer experience, satisfaction and loyalty as well as banks’ financial performance. For banks to remain relevant in the competition, we need to quickly respond and manage the ever-changing environment, especially with the fast evolvement of financial technology, ” he said. Phan added that as a newly set up bank, he does not have the legacy burden of the old technology, which is normally slow and clumsy, but instead the bank would have the advantage of designing its business strategy, products and services capitalising on the latest technology such as Blockchain and fintech. Customers nowadays, he said, are very knowledgeable and their demands for financial services are also very sophisticated and fast changing. “We believe it is now the perfect timing of our incorporation with such a business strategy to meet the demands of more knowledgeable and sophisticated customers.” Phan would be on the management team to spearhead Oriental Bank’s growth and earning moving forward in Cambodia. He said the bank’s management team also has vast experience in the financial services and banking sector. Meanwhile, G Capital executive director Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa said with a minimum 20% stake in Oriental Bank Plc, the company is looking to unlock the value of its investment via the listing of the bank. Nevertheless, he said G Capital shall remain as a substantial investor in the bank as it planned to maintain its presence in the ever-growing banking industry there. Commenting on the listing, Phan said: “We are eyeing to list on the Cambodia Securities Exchange or any other stock exchange. “We will look for a perfect timing to list the entity, after taking into consideration various factors including the progress of the business. “For now, our timeline to list is about five years after the commencement of the business.” While not dismissing plans for expansion into the banking sector in the region if opportunity arises and if there is synergy, Ali Hamsa said the move to venture into Cambodia was due to the country’s fast growing economy – referred by some as the land of opportunity. He said it has a legal framework that provides favourable provisions for foreign investors who are seeking investment opportunities in the country. Among those provisions are the fact that there are no restrictions on foreign ownership in a business, low tax rates and investment incentives, he said. Meanwhile, G Capital, with its mainstay in renewable energy (RE), would continue to look at new initiatives to build its RE business. Ali Hamsa said both RE and banking business would be the two-pronged growth engines for the company going forward. The company recently announced that its 90% subsidiary, Gunung Hydropower Sdn Bhd (GHSB), has obtained approval for its revised feed-in-tariff (FiT) rate from the Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) for a 10MW small hydropower project in Salu, Sungai Perak. GHSB, which participated in the e-bidding process that was announced by SEDA in February 2020, received the approval to increase tariff rates to RM0.28 per kWH from RM0.25 per kWH received in March 2018. The project would have a yearly energy yield of 68,000 megawatt-hour at a fixed price of RM0.28 per kilowatt-hour for a period of 21 years.
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