Cambodian microfinance institutions recorded $109.55 million – or a 20 per cent increase – in new deposits for the first quarter this year, compared to the same period last year, according to data from the Cambodia Microfinance Association (CMA).
Bun Mony, president of the CMA and CEO of Sathapana, said deposit growth in the last quarter was good and he expected growth for the rest of the year to match the 100 per cent achieved in 2014, if not outperform last year.
“I think this year will be better than last year because of political stability and companies will be able to do better business,” Mony said.
Currently, of the 42 MFIs operating in the Kingdom, only seven are licensed by the National Bank of Cambodia to take deposits.
According to the CMA’s numbers, deposits at MFIs, at the end of last year, stood at $896.92 million, more than doubling the $444.98 million reported in 2013.
Mony added that he didn’t expect any new entrants in the deposit-taking business, given that the National Bank of Cambodia is waiting to monitor the performance of the seven MFIs currently allowed to take deposits.
Stephen Higgins, a managing partner at Cambodia-based Mekong Strategic Partners, said that the increase in deposits at MFIs was strong and a quarter by quarter analysis shows that deposits increased 12 per cent last quarter as compared to the fourth quarter in 2014, when the increase was 11 per cent.
“It’s much easier to grow from a small base, but as MFIs get bigger in terms of deposits, it is natural that the rate of growth will slow,” he said.
Sim Senacheert, chief executive officer at Prasac, said that from January to March, his company collected new deposits totalling $50 million, taking Prasac’s total deposits to $345.7 million.
According to Senacheert, increasing a MFIs funds from local and reliable sources was preferred over relying on international fund infusion.
He added that major MFIs had followed the lead of some major banks, to improve the products they offer customers.
“We always upgrade our products by equipping [them with] modern tools, to create convenience for our clients,” he said.
“Deposits at MFIs are growing quite well and very healthy.”
Taking into account last quarter’s deposits, MFIs now have $1.01 billion in deposits and have $2.3 billion in loans.