ASEAN Today briefs – Cambodia places 18% rate cap on new and restructured loans

Betty Ho, analyst


The National Bank of Cambodia will place an 18% rate ceiling on new and restructured loans from microfinance institutions from 1st April 2017 onwards. This move was made to prevent high individual debts and to reduce poverty among the informal economy. The current rate is between 20 to 30%. There will likely be repercussions on the smaller lenders. A narrower spread may cause some of these small lenders to go bankrupt. Additionally, this will dampen the growth of P2P marketplaces. Leng Soklong, former deputy chief of the central bank, shared this could result in Cambodia undeserving the lower income group.


The Singapore Exchange Ltd. (SGX) raised the pro-rata renounceable rights issue cap to 100% of a company’s share capital from 50%. This is to help companies raise funds quickly.


Thailand approved the installation of debit and credit card swipe terminals for 2 banking consortium. This approval was related to Thailand’s national e-payment scheme. The two consortiums will be able to install up to ~560,000 terminals. One of the consortium comprises Bangkok Bank PCL and KASIKORNBANK PCL. The other comprises Siam Commercial Bank PCL, Krung Thai Bank PCL, Bank of Ayudhya PCL, Thanachart Bank PCL and TMB Bank PCL.


Singapore’s biggest lender DBS Bank will launch a mobile only banking system in Indonesia. The smartphone-based mobile banking option will launch in 2017, offering a branchless digital banking experience. DBS will use biometric technology as authentication.


India issued draft rules related to e-wallets. The rules were issued to ensure adequate integrity, security and confidentiality of e-payments. Issuers will need to establish an information security policy over the payment system. E-wallet operators will also need to conduct risk assessments on the security of their payment systems. The public can provide feedback on the rules under 20th March 2017.

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