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Lender bender

Leading microlenders have seen loan portfolios expand and profits soar, in one case by almost 100 percent quarter on quarter, as Cambodian business activities are boosted by economic recovery.

Prasac, Cambodia’s largest microfinance institution, reported its loan portfolio increased by 21 percent to US$88.2 million at the end of the third quarter, from $72.9 million at the second quarter’s end. Its client numbers increased by 16 percent to 105,900 nationwide.

“The loan portfolio and number of borrowers grew due to the further increased demand in the agricultural sector and in the small and microenterprise sectors,” said Sim Senacheert, general manager of Prasac.

“We expect to grow 10 to 15 percent in the last quarter of this year.”

Prasac earned a net profit after tax of $728,000 in the third quarter, an increase of 99 percent from $365,000 at the end of the second quater, due to its increased portfolio and a drop in the rate of non-performing loans – which decreased from 1.44 percent to 1.14 percent during the last quarter.

Microlender Hattha Kaksekar Ltd saw oustanding loans increase to $39 million in the third quarter, against $34 million in the second quarter.

Lending growth was also experienced among smaller MFIs.

Cambodia Business Integrated In Rural Development Agency, reported that its lending increased by 2 percent increase to $1 million in the third quarter.
Customers increased by 5 percent to 2,100. The institution provides the interest rate between 2 and 3 percent per month.
“We saw from one quarter to another, lending has gradually increased. It could reflect the recovery of the economy,” Prom Mary, CBIRD board director, said yesterday.
Tal Nay Im, director general of the National Bank of Cambodia, said: “In general, we saw that the demand for loans is pertinent to the situaton of the economy, and since late last year, the recovery has started, and lending has gradually increased.”

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