The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has proposed an investment of up to $200 million in Cambodia’s public limited commercial bank ACLEDA to expand its lending programme to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and women-owned SMEs, according to a disclosure.
The proposed investment consists of an IFC A Loan of up to $ 100 million and a syndicated loan of up to $ 100 million.
Headquartered in Phnom Penh, ACLEDA is one of Cambodia’s biggest lenders by gross loan portfolio. As of last September 2020, it had a total loan portfolio of $3.6 billion and held $4.2 billion in deposits.
The commercial bank, which has 263 branches and district offices across Cambodia to date, has been a long-term strategic partner for IFC in the Mekong region. Its female borrowers account for 55.92% of total active borrowers.
ACLEDA is listed in the Cambodian stock exchange since May 25, 2020. Its main shareholders include ACLEDA Financial Trust (25.73 %), ACLEDA Staff Association Plc. (24.74%), Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (18.06%), COFIBRED S.A (12.12%) and ORIX Corporation (12.12%). The remaining stake is held by Triodos Sustainable Finance Foundation, Triodos Fair Share Fund, and Triodos Microfinance Fund, and public shareholders.
The international lender said that the project’s development impact is anchored on increased access to finance for underserved SME segments, including women-owned SMEs.
“Beyond the project, and along with other World Bank Group efforts in the SME segment, the investment will foster greater inclusiveness of the SME financing market via innovation and competition,” IFC said in the disclosure.
IFC has previously invested in ACLEDA as well. In 2019, IFC proposed to offer a loan of up to $90 million to ACLEDA. Earlier, in 2016, it offered an additional loan of $50 million to the Cambodian bank.
Its other investments in Cambodia include a senior loan proposal of up to $50 million for Amret Plc, a microfinance deposit-taking institution in Cambodia in June 2020. Earlier, the international firm proposed a three-year senior financing package to Angkor Mikroheranhvatho (Kampuchea) Co, also known as AMK, a registered microfinance institution.
Cambodia’s $8-billion microfinance industry is touted by foreign investors as bringing financial opportunities to the country’s poor. According to a Nikkei Asia report last year, the sector continues to grow, expanding by about 30% in 2018.