IFC may extend $40m debt to Cambodian microlender Amret

Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Photo by Kristen Sturdivant on Unsplash

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private lending arm of the World Bank Group, has proposed to extend a loan of up to $40 million to Amret Company Limited, a deposit-taking microfinance institution (MFI) in Cambodia.

“The investment aims to support the company’s sustainable growth of its micro, small and medium loan portfolio,” IFC said in its disclosure.

Established in 1991, Amret caters to micro, small and medium enterprises and low-to-middle-income populations. It offers loan and deposit services to Cambodian individuals and businesses focused on agriculture and rural development. It currently covers 25 provinces and 297 districts across the country.

The proposed debt funding is a follow-on investment from IFC which is an existing investor in Amret. In 2015, IFC announced that it would pick up a 19.9 per cent stake in Amret with an equity investment of $15-20 million.

IFC followed up the equity round with an additional $10 million debt support to enable the MFI to step up lending to micro and smaller businesses.

Amret shareholders include Advans SA (52.78 per cent), Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V. (FMO) and IFC, (19.99 per cent each), La Fayette Participations S.A.S and Botta Cambodia with 4.06 per cent and 3.17 per cent respectively.

Amret is the second-largest MFI in Cambodia after Prasac, the largest MFI in the country. Other leading MFI entities in the country such as Acleda, Sathapana and Camcapital have transitioned into banks.

IFC, which has been investing in Cambodia since 1997, had committed about $266 million in the country as of the end of 2017.

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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.