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Grameen foundation aids Kingdom’s MFIs

TWO Cambodian microfinance institutions have secured loans from the Luxembourg-based Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation, amounting to a total US$1.14 million.

Thaneakea Phum Cambodia Ltd received the equivalent of a $1 million loan, while Chamroeun Microfinance received a loan of $144,000, according to a release from Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation this week.

Michael Spingler, TPC Chairman, said the three-year loan was the first TPC has received from the Foundation.

“TPC began discussions with GCAMF in May and received the loan in November,” he said via email yesterday.

“The loan will be used to service client demands. It will assist to meet new client and existing client loan requirements.”

Established in 1994 and officially licensed by the Cambodian government in 2003, TPC’s average loan size is $250, and about 90 percent of its customers are women, Spingler said.

“TPC was established to help rural low-income women by providing them with access to financial products and services that they can use to finance their microenterprises… For this reason, the majority of TPC’s loans are group loans – community-based lending facilities delivered directly to villages – to better serve female entrepreneurs,” he said.

According to Spingler, TPC is the fifth largest local MFI by client base, and the eighth largest in terms of portfolio size. As of November 2010, TPC was had a gross loan portfolio of $21.5 million and total assets of $29.8 million. It’s return on equity was 15.52 percent.

Chamroeun Microfinance could not be contacted for comment but according to the GCAMF release, it was established in 1995. In 2009 it reported to the Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX), a gross loan portfolio of $679,000 and total assets of $755,000. Its return on equity was negative 25.14 percent.

GCAMF was established in 2008 as a partnership between Bangladeshi pioneering microfinance foundation Grameen Trust and French retail bank Credit Agricole SA which provided a 50 million euro ($73 million) endowment. It offers financing products to MFIs, “targeting MFIs that adhere to transparency and consumer protection practices and focuses on MFIs dedicated to agricultural and rural development, specifically those intended for women”, according to the release.

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