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Amret MFI gets $10M loan to aid SME reach

Amret MFI gets $10M loan to aid SME reach

Amret Microfinance received a $10 million boost yesterday by a loan from German development bank KfW, according to a joint statement from the finance institutions.

Chea Phalarin, chief executive officer of Amret Microfinance Institution, said yesterday that the new loan – equal to nearly double its profit for 2013 – will be used to increase access to financing for Cambodia’s smallest businesses.

“[The new loan] will provide possibilities for Amret to expand its activities in further providing loans to citizens for business operation and for cultivation purposes in the coming rainy season,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Amret’s outstanding loans total is currently $245 million, according to the release. One of a handful of MFI’s licensed to take deposits, the former credit NGO currently holds $113 million in client savings.

Gerald Lazer, director at KfW, said that though the number of MFIs has grown significantly in Cambodia in recent times, access to finance is still a problem in most rural areas.

“By providing this funding, KfW wants to be part of the effort of enhancing access to financial services via an increased outreach and a diversified product range,” he said in a statement yesterday.

According to Lazer, only 8 per cent of all households use formal financial services and less than 43 per cent of micro- and small- to medium-size enterprises have a bank account.

Industry-wide, MFI loans outstanding at the end of the first quarter this year reached $1.51 billion, up from $1.32 billion at the end of 2013.

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