Sathapana Bank Plc received a $50 million loan from Proparco, a subsidiary of Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) to increase lending by the bank to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and women entrepreneurs in Cambodia.
The loan, which was announced on December 18, will be divided equally between the two groups targeted for assistance with $25 million going to support the development of the bank’s overall lending activities with SMEs and the other $25 million dedicated to supporting women entrepreneurship specifically, as defined by the 2X Challenge criteria.
The 2X Challenge is an initiative launched in 2018 by development finance institutions from the Group of Seven (G7) countries, including Proparco, which aims to increase access to financing for women entrepreneurs in developing and emerging economies.
Proparco regional director for North and Southeast Asia Magali Roux said Sathapana Bank plays a key role in Cambodia’s development due to its unique contribution to SME development and the empowerment of women in Cambodia, and it is therefore an ideal partner for Proparco.
She said: “We are very happy to initiate this new partnership, which holds great promise for the future.”
Sathapana Bank CEO Lim Aun pointed out that providing access to financing, especially for SMEs and women entrepreneurship in Cambodia, is an important means of providing stimulus to the economy that allows businesses to resume investment and seek new growth opportunities.
“This credit line will help businesses sustain themselves and then fully participate in a more inclusive economy as it recovers and begins to thrive again after these difficult conditions due to the impact of Covid-19 have passed.
“We are delighted with this partnership and honoured for being recognised by Proparco for our substantial experience and contribution to the country’s financial sector,” he said.
It is estimated that approximately 3,600 SMEs will benefit from this loan programme, particularly businesses in the retail, services and agriculture sectors. A majority of these SMEs are expected to be owned or managed by women.
Despite the negative effects on the economy of the Covid-19 pandemic, Sathapana Bank has recorded strong growth in both deposits and loans while maintaining healthy profits.
As of September 30, Sathapana’s total assets had grown by nearly $300 million to $1.96 billion, up from $1.67 billion at the end of last year.
Their deposit portfolio rose to $1.17 billion at the end of the first nine months of this year, an expansion of 19.4 per cent compared to the $947.4 million held on December 31, 2019.
The bank’s total loans also increased to $1.48 billion as of the end of the third quarter.
Sathapana Bank has the second-largest branch network in the Kingdom with more than 170 locations in addition to having over 230 ATMs installed across Cambodia.