Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Microfinance recruitment slowing

Microfinance recruitment slowing

Microfinance recruitment slowing


Economic downturn forces fast-expanding MFI sector to scale back employment plans.

Photo by:


An ACLEDA branch in Phnom Penh.


  • 5pc employment growth expected this year
  • Down from 20pc in recent years
  • Lending growth drop cited as reason behind recruiting slowdown

THE rate of job creation in the microfinance sector will slow sharply this year as the sector's previously high levels of loan growth start to slow, the industry body has warned.

Bun Mony, chairman of lender Sathapana Limited and a board member of the Cambodian Microfinance Association (CMA), forecasts sector-wide employment growth could be as low as 5 percent this year, far lower than previous years.

He was speaking at a workshop for senior staff of the country's 18 microfinance institutions (MFIs), and he told journalists that 10,000 people currently work in the sector.

"New direct labour recruitment has risen 30 percent each year in the last few years, but due to the [global economic] crisis, new recruitment is forecast to grow only 5 to 10 percent this year," Bun Mony said.

Bun Mony said the sector had lent US$740 million to a million borrowers in 2008 - an increase of 61 percent on the previous year's loan


However, he expects growth in the industry's lending will slow sharply this year to 10 to 20 percent, because cash-strapped foreign investors - who account for 80 percent of capital inflow - will invest less. For that reason, he said, companies would need to hire fewer employees.

CMA Chairman Hout Ieng Tong predicted graduates would face tougher competition for posts at MFIs.

  Due to the crisis we have cut the number of new staff recruitments.

"Normally when MFIs recruit staff, many university graduates apply for those posts," he said. "Due to the crisis we have cut the number of new staff recruitments. Sometimes we recruit only 20 employees but have thousands of applications."
Chea Phalarin, general manager of MFI Amret, agreed, saying that his company employs 810 employees - a rise of 50 percent on the previous year.

"However, the financial crisis means we plan to recruit only 30 percent new employees to expand our operations," Chea Phalarin said.

He added that Amret's loan book last year was up 80 percent, with $54 million lent to 230,000 customers. Yet Chea Phalarin predicted loan growth for his firm would slow to 40 percent this year.


  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38 [Updated]

    Updated 5:05pm, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Kak Channthy, frontwoman of popular The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk on the city's

  • Australians protest Asean summit visit by PM Hun Sen

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sydney’s Hyde Park on Friday to protest against Cambodian strongman Hun Sen, who claimed to have been gifted millions of dollars by the Australian government ahead of a special Asean summit this weekend. An estimated 300 protesters, the majority of

  • One Australian, one Cambodian killed in explosion at military base

    Updated: 5:20pm, Friday 16 March 2018 An Australian tourist and a Cambodian soldier were killed in an explosion on Thursday afternoon at an army base in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province. The Australian, whom the government initially identified as a technical demining expert in his 40s, and

  • Peeling back layers of prehistory in Battambang

    When the man passed away, he had not yet reached 50. He belonged to a tribe that had settled near the Sangker River in Battambang province, likely cultivating the fields and raising animals. On the side, they hunted for boars, and even turtles, one of which