ACLEDA MFI Myanmar Co Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cambodia’s ACLEDA Bank Plc, continues to operate as normal even as the country declares a year-long state of emergency, ACLEDA Bank president and group managing director In Channy told The Post.
The new Myanmar military leadership vows to hold another national election after claiming “severe errors in voting results of the November 8, 2020 general election” and award the right to the victorious political party to form a new government.
This is according to a February 1 official announcement by Defence Services Office commander-in-chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, as reported by AFP.
Channy said ACLEDA MFI Myanmar did not close amid fears and uncertainties following the military coup, adding that small businesses were operating as normal.
“For sure, some banks were closed on Monday [February 1] and people were flocking to withdraw their money.
“But our business operations in Myanmar is limited to microfinance . . . We don’t provide the services that banks do – we only provide micro-loans to micro-businesses and not to small and medium-sized enterprises. As of now, we’re continuing to provide and receive loans.
“I was surprised once I got word that business was still up and running as usual, carrying on providing loans, and people were coming to make payments all the same. That’s because we do micro-loans to support micro-businesses for the people, so we weren’t affected,” he said.
ACLEDA MFI Myanmar was given the Certificate of Incorporation No 96 FC of 2012-2013 by the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration of Myanmar on September 6, 2012, according to ACLEDA Bank.
On February 8, the institution was granted a licence as a credit and deposit-taking microfinance business. It began operations 10 days later, its parent lender said in a statement.
According to Channy, ACLEDA MFI Myanmar has disbursed $43 million to more than 102,000 customers as of January 31.
“We got the nod from the central bank in Myanmar [following the military takeover] to continue providing loans to customers. We are not worried or planning to exit the country and will operate under the law and regulations issued by the authorities,” he said.
He said ACLEDA MFI Myanmar has $20 million in registered capital, which is less than one per cent of the total for the group, and maintains $8 million in “mandatory savings from customers”.
“All customers of our operations there must maintain a minimum balance, which is different to how we run things here. We also loan to other banks there,” Channy said.
As of last month, ACLEDA MFI Myanmar had 16 branches – six in the Yangon region, seven in the Bago region, one in Mon state and two in the Magway region.