EMERGING Market Investments Pte Ltd (EMI) closed funding on a new Cambodia-Laos investment fund in December at US$10 million, a company executive said Tuesday.
Joshua Morris, managing director of EMI, told the Post that the fund had fallen short of its initial target, which was set at $20 million last year.
Thus far, Norfund and Finnfund, development arms created by the Norwegian and Finnish governments, have injected $4 million each into the fund, with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) adding the remaining $2 million “to the fund’s first closing”, according to a Norfund statement.
Julia Brickell, IFC’s resident representative in Cambodia, confirmed Tuesday that the IFC’s “initial investment” would be $2 million. The IFC Web site says “it is proposed that IFC invest up to $4 million”, although it is not permitted to make statements about future investments prior to the investment closing, according to the rules of Luxembourg, where the fund was established.
Morris said the fund was already looking at five potential companies in which to invest across different sectors in Cambodia.
“We began speaking to firms during the fundraising period,” he said, adding that talks were also ongoing with five companies in Laos.
The fund would likely attribute about 60 percent of capital to Cambodia and 40 percent to Laos given the difference in size between the two neighbouring economies, Morris added.
IFC says on its Web site that the Cambodia-Laos Development Fund will target small-and-medium-sized businesses. These would likely be in business services, agribusiness and microfinance, according to Norfund.