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A motorist drives by Acleda bank on Monivong Boulevard in May.
A motorist drives by Acleda bank on Monivong Boulevard in May. Pha Lina

SMBC buys IFC Acleda shares

Japanese financial firm Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) has agreed to buy out the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) stake in Acleda Bank for more than $100 million.

Pending approval from the National Bank of Cambodia, the IFC – member of the World Bank Group – confirmed with the Post yesterday that it has sold its 27.6 million shares, or 12.25 per cent stake in Acleda Bank to SMBC for $110 million.

“With its financial strength and expertise, we believe Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. is a strong strategic partner that can support Acleda’s continued long-term growth and contribute to Cambodia’s economic development and job creation,” Adel Meer, IFC’s financial institutions group manager for East Asia and the Pacific was quoted saying in a statement yesterday.

The share sale concludes a 15-year partnership between the IFC and Acleda Bank, and marks the end of the local banking firm’s 20-year reliance on international assistance organisations.

In Channy, president and CEO of Acleda said bringing on SMBC as a major shareholder will best help the bank target corporate clients.

“We already established a Foreign Corporate Desk with SMBC,” Channy said.

“We can provide a full package of financial services and products to our corporate customers from financing, cash management, payroll service, to international trade.”

SMBC’s purchase of 12.25 per cent of Acleda’s share capital makes the firm equal with Hong Kong-based JSH Asia Holdings and COFIBRED, a subsidiary of the French banking group BRED Banque Populaire, as primary shareholders.

Masayuki Shimura, head of Asia Pacific division and emerging markets SMBC, said his firm’s purchase was in fact an extension of an existing relationship with Acleda.

“In view of the expanding Cambodian economy, SMBC signed a memorandum of understanding for a business alliance with Acleda Bank in August 2012 and has been promoting business cooperation since then,” he said.

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