Cambodia’s financial system is dominated by banking institutions (commercial and specialized banks), whose assets comprise approximately 90 percent of the total assets in the financial system. By the end of 2016 (the latest figure available), total assets in banking institutions had reached USD $23.76 billion, an increase of 21 percent from 2015 and equivalent to 118.20 percent of the GDP. As the central bank, the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) regulates the operations of banking systems in Cambodia. Foreign banks and branches are freely allowed to register and operate in the country. There are 37 commercial banks, 13 specialized banks (set up to finance specific turn-key projects such as real estate development), 54 licensed microfinance institutions, and seven licensed microfinance deposit taking institutions in Cambodia. The increasing maturity of the financial sector was evidenced by the public’s improved understanding of financial services, the expansion of financial intermediation, and the increasing diversity of financial products and services. Though Cambodia has its own currency, the riel, U.S. dollars are in wide circulation in Cambodia and remain the primary currency for most large transactions. There are no restrictions on the conversion of capital for investors.