Macif's Cambodian takeover target shut down

25th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

PHNOM PENH, Oct 25 (AFP) - A top Cambodian insurance company that was to have joined forces with French insurance company Macif this year has been closed by the government for failing to register enough capital.

PHNOM PENH, Oct 25 (AFP) - A top Cambodian insurance company that was to have joined forces with French insurance company Macif this year has been closed by the government for failing to register enough capital.

Indochine Insurance said last month that Macif would take at least a 40 percent stake in the company, making it the first major international player here, with the French Development Agency planned as another shareholder.

In a statement received Monday, staff said that the investment had come too late and the ministry of economy and finance had frozen its accounts, more than 10 years after it began operations.

Management "pursued some negotiations with the ministry of economy and finance but the parties could not reach any agreement" allowing the new shareholders to join, it said.

"Unable to cash in payments from clients for more than two months, the management of the company had no choice but to shut down operation," it said, adding that 55 staff in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap had lost their jobs Friday.

The statement said claims and complaints should be directed to the ministry. Mey Vann, director of the finance ministry's finance industry department, told the Cambodia Daily that the company had failed to lodge a required USD 700,000 dollar deposit at the National Bank of Cambodia.

A law passed in 2000 requires that insurance companies invest a minimum of USD 7 million to obtain a licence to operate, along with the deposit, but the tiny industry only has annual revenues estimated at USD 8 million.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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