National Bank denies considering sale of Cambodian unit

No talks for ABA Bank sale, says banking giant

National Bank denies considering sale of Cambodian unit

The National Bank of Canada has publicly refuted a report from Bloomberg News suggesting that the bank was considering the sale of its Cambodian subsidiary, ABA Bank, for over $2 billion.

In a direct response to the claims made on Tuesday, the bank clarified its position, stating that it is currently not engaged in any process or negotiations for the sale of ABA Bank.

This denial comes amidst a backdrop of Canadian financial institutions looking for growth opportunities beyond their domestic borders, where they face stiff competition and a tightly regulated environment. The National Bank of Canada acquired full ownership of ABA Bank in 2019, having incrementally increased its stake since 2014. This move was part of a broader strategy to capitalize on Cambodia's burgeoning economy and promising financial sector.

In addition to taking control of ABA Bank, the National Bank of Canada invested an additional $63 million into the Cambodian bank in 2019. This investment underscored the Canadian bank's confidence in ABA Bank's potential and Cambodia's economic prospects.

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ABA Bank, originally known as Advanced Bank of Asia Ltd and established in 1996, has significantly expanded its presence in Cambodia, boasting 94 branches and over 1,600 self-banking machines across the country.

For the fiscal year ending October 31, 2023, ABA Bank reported a net income of $343 million and revenue of $726 million, as per figures provided by the National Bank of Canada. These figures reflect the subsidiary's robust contribution to its parent company's international portfolio.

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