IFC proposes $150m investment in bond issue of Thai bank Krungsri

Photo: Krungsri

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is proposing to invest up to $150 million in the privately-placed, senior, unsecured USD-denominated bonds to be issued by Bank of Ayudhya Public Company, locally known as Krungsri, according to a disclosure.

The plan is to be an anchor investor in the $220-million “Women Entrepreneurs Bonds” of Thailand’s fifth-largest commercial bank, which is a strategic subsidiary of MUFG Bank, formerly Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.

The other $70 million will come from German investment firm Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (DEG), according to the IFC.

Proceeds from the bond issuance will be used to finance the expansion of the bank’s women-led small and medium enterprises loan portfolio, the IFC said in its investment proposal.

“The project will support the bank’s ongoing efforts to increase its lending portfolio to WSMEs, an important sector that drives economic growth and employment, and to promote resilient and sustainable growth and strengthen financial inclusion in Thailand,” the international lender said.

Additionally, IFC said it will also help the bank develop and launch the first differentiated financial and non-financial product offering in the market specifically designed for women entrepreneurs.

Listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, Krungsri is recognised as a domestic systematically important bank by the country’s central bank. It holds an 11.4 per cent market share of Thailand’s total banking assets as of December 2018. It has a market cap of $9.4 billion as of July 31, 2019.

IFC said the proposed investment in Krungsri will not be its first engagement with the Thai bank as it already has a multilevel partnership with the bank and its subsidiaries in East Asia and the Pacific region, notably Hattha Kaksekar Limited (HKL) in Cambodia.

The international lender said it also has an existing partnership with Krungsri’s major shareholder – MUFG Bank, Ltd., the largest commercial bank in Japan. Krungsri is 76.88 per cent owned by MUFG Bank.

In May last year, the IFC invested up to $20 million in local currency bonds issued by Cambodia-based HKL, a deposit-taking microfinance institution. HKL has one of Cambodia’s largest distribution networks. It has 168 branches across the country as of May 2018, employing over 3,100 people.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.