US real estate giant Century 21 opens Cambodia office

September 5th, 2014 , Property Report

California-based real estate firm Century 21 enters the emerging Cambodian property market with today’s formal opening of its local operations in the country. …

According to Goos, the local franchise of Century 21 would concentrate on foreign buyers, especially on selling new condominiums, to avoid competing with local agencies. …

Property Report News Staff

Malaysia’s Wah Seong in 10-year power deal with Cambodia

September 5th, 2014 , The Cambodia Herald

Wah Seong Corporation Bhd’s subsidiary will be selling 48,000 MW of power per annum over 10 years to Cambodia’s power company.

Wah Seong said on Friday its subsidiary PMTI Energy (Cambodia) Co Ltd had signed a power purchase deal with the Electricité Du Cambodge to sell the contracted capacity. It added the contract might be extended for an additional period. …

The Cambodia Herald News Staff

Russia pledges duty-free trade

September 1st, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Russia is set to approve duty- and quota-free imports for up to 3,000 Cambodian agricultural products, according to local government officials.

A statement issued by Cambodia’s Ministry of Commerce on Friday states that Russia’s Minister for Economic Development, Alexey Ulyukaev, agreed in principal to increase the number of Cambodian products eligible for duty-free import status. …

Chan Muyhong and Charles Rollet

City hits brakes on illegal gas

August 28th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

The Phnom Penh government is planning to take action against illegal petrol stations around the city, and has counted 205 of them so far.

Chreang Sophan, Phnom Penh deputy governor, said at the opening of a Total station in Tuol Kork district on Monday that the municipality will have technicians come and assess the illegal service stations before they can become legal, so that potential public safety threats are stamped out. …

Sen David

‘SMEs have role’ in graft fight

August 27th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) need to intensify self-regulatory efforts against corrupt practices to help foster a stronger business environment, NGO Transparency International (TI) Cambodia said yesterday.

At a seminar in Phnom Penh, TI Cambodia executive director Preap Kol told business representatives that while government corruption pressures businesses into paying bribes, companies were also actively engaging in corrupt activities themselves to gain unfair competitive advantages. …

Chan Muyhong

Rubber giant to hear villagers’ complaints

August 25th, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

More than 15 months after a Global Witness report revealed that Vietnam’s state-owned rubber giant had illegally cleared land and displaced communities in Cambodia, the company has announced that it will accept and respond to complaints from those whose lives it has damaged.

Vietnam Rubber Group, which counts the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) as a shareholder, has amassed more than 140,000 hectares of land through 19 economic land concessions in eight provinces, according to Global Witness. …

Matt Blomberg

Modern abbatoir under way for Australian cattle

August 25th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Days after the Australian government announced it had approved the export of 10,000 live cows to Cambodia, a local firm has revealed that it is nearing completion of the Kingdom’s first modern slaughterhouse in Preah Sihanounk province – and that it is set to be the biggest in all of Asia.

Hor Sim Leang, managing director of SLN Meat Supply, said that construction of the $15 million slaughterhouse in Prek Toal village was already under way and almost 60 per cent complete. …

Hor Kimsay

Cambodian rat meat: A growing export market

August 24th, 2014 , BBC News

A unique harvest is under way in the rice fields of Cambodia where tens of thousands of wild rats are being trapped alive each day to feed a growing export market for the meat of rural rodents.

Popularly considered a disease-carrying nuisance in many societies, the rice field rats, Rattus argentiventer, of this small South-East Asian nation are considered a healthy delicacy due to their free-range lifestyle and largely organic diet.

Rat-catching season reaches its height after the rice harvest in June and July when rats have little to eat in this part of rural Kompong Cham province, some 60km from the capital Phnom Penh. …

Kevin Doyle

U.S. renewable energy developer eyes investment opportunity in Cambodia

August 22nd, 2014 , Xinhuanet News

The Willowbrook Company, a New York-based renewable energy development company, is seeking support from Cambodia to build a 250-megawatt solar power plant, the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce said in a statement Friday.

Edward J.Sappin, visiting chief executive officer of the Willowbrook Company, urged the support from Cambodian Minister of Commerce Sun Chanthol for the mega-project during a meeting on Wednesday, the statement said. …

Xinhuanet News Staff

Muang Thai maps out expansion plan

August 19th, 2014 , The Nation

Muang Thai Insurance is looking at acquiring portfolios from non-life insurers and selling non-life products to individuals in neighbouring countries as part of its plan to keep its premium income growing by 15 per cent annually in the next three to five years.

“The merger model was not suitable for us because tax incentives do not support insurance mergers. Therefore, we think that asset acquisitions should be the way to go to help support growth,” Puntrika Baingern, senior executive vice president and chief financial officer, said yesterday. …

The company is interested in expanding into personal-accident and motor insurance in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam in tandem with Kasikornbank Group. Kasikornbank is opening a subsidiary in Laos this year and a branch in Cambodia next year. MTI aims to broaden its footprint in Laos and Cambodia, where is sees opportunities for motor and personal-accident insurance. The investment model for those countries might be joint ventures, but in some cases, MTI might consider setting up a representative office before a JV. …

Sucheera Pinijparakarn

IFC sells stake in Cambodia’s commercial bank to Japanese bank

August 18th, 2014 , Shanghai Daily

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has sold its 12.25 percent stake in Acleda bank to Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) in an undisclosed amount after having supported Acleda for over 15 years, said an IFC news statement on Monday.

IFC has partnered with Acleda bank since 1999 when the bank was undergoing a transformation from a nongovernmental organization into a microfinance institution, the statement said, adding that as a founding shareholder, IFC has helped the bank grow over the last 15 years into the largest Cambodian bank. …

Shanghai Daily News Staff

New chapter in search for black gold

August 18th, 2014

As Chevron hands over its controlling stake in the Kingdom’s most developed oil field to a new player, industry experts say extraction may still take time

Industry insiders urged patience this week after news broke that energy giant Chevron had sold its controlling stake in the Kingdom’s most developed oil field to Singaporean firm KrisEnergy.

Hopes are now pegged on KrisEnergy to bring about a windfall it is hoped will reduce the nation’s dependency on energy imports and bring much-needed state revenues.

But there is still a long way to go, according to experts, who say that while long-awaited reforms to clean up the industry could yield progress, extraction may still be far off. …

Daniel de Carteret

Workers end Thai-Cambodia border protest

August 17th, 2014 , Bangkok Post

About 300 disgruntled Cambodian workers and used-garment merchants last night ended their blockade on the border with Thailand.

The workers had earlier parked their two-wheel carts in front of the Aranyaprathet-Poi Pet border checkpoint on the Poi Pet side of the Thai-Cambodian friendship bridge. They demanded the release of a group of Cambodian workers and vendors who were earlier arrested by customs officials. …

Bangkok Post Staff

Cambodia garment sector small fry for suppliers

August 16th, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

In Cambodia, where the garment sector accounts for 80 percent of exports, hundreds of thousands of people depend on their slice of the $5 billion industry to survive.

But for suppliers currently exhibiting their wares at a trade show this weekend on Phnom Penh’s Koh Pich island, Cambodia’s garment industry represents a tiny fraction of their total sales, and is something of an afterthought for powerhouses such as Bangladesh, India and China. …

Holly Robertson and Kang Sothear

Risking it all for rosewood

August 16th, 2014

At dawn on the Dangrek Mountain range, 62-year-old logger Suon Song* uses an empty beer can to boil water for his morning coffee. He’ll need it to stay alert during the illegal and dangerous work ahead, after the first of several sleepless nights in the densely forested terrain that forms a natural border between Cambodia and Thailand. …

Since Song and his two companions began felling trees in the forest in 2001, they have faced countless encounters with the black-clad Thai soldiers that patrol the area, many of which have featured gunfire. One has been shot and survived.

The three neighbours, originally from Prey Veng province and now living in Oddar Meanchey, are among what they estimate to be 1,000 Cambodians who risk their lives each year crossing the border in search of endangered Siamese rosewood and other luxury wood. …

May Titthara

ANZ refuses to help evictees of senator’s sugarcane farm

August 15th, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

About 100 villagers who lost land to a sugarcane plantation, which was until recently financed by ANZ Royal Bank, traveled to Phnom Penh to protest in front of the bank’s headquarters Thursday, but failed to convince the bank to help them.

Several hundred families in Kompong Speu province accuse a pair of plantations owned by CPP Senator Ly Yong Phat and his wife, Kim Heang, of stealing their farmland, often holding their livestock for ransom and driving them into debt. ANZ Royal was financing the senator’s Phnom Penh Sugar company but had its loan to the firm paid back in full by July. …

Aun Pheap and Zsombor Peter