Hattha Kasekar Limited, one of the Kingdom’s biggest micro-finance institutions, yesterday secured foreign investment to keep up with the increased demand for loans.
A new shareholder agreement with Switzerland-based ResponsAbility Social Investments AG will provide it with a much-needed injection of capital.
HKL president and chief executive Hout Ieng Tong said that with recent growth in the economy, the demand for loans had increased dramatically.
“With this injection today, HKL will be able to expand its operations to many areas across the country, reach out to more customers and maintain our position as the fourth-largest MFI in the market,” he said.
The agreement is the first of its kind for the Swiss investor, which has worked for many years with other leading Cambodian MFIs, but exclusively as a lender.
“HKL is our first equity financing in Cambodia, and we are very proud to become shareholders,” Michael Fiebig, ResponsAbility’s head of micro-finance equity, said.
With the agreement, ResponsAbility will become the ninth shareholder in HKL, and is set to hold a 10 per cent stake in the MFI. The institutions declined to disclose the exact amount of the investment.
Since its inception in 1994, HKL has loaned US$70 million to 60,000 customers. It presently holds $14 million in savings for 50,000 customers, according to Huot Eang Tong.
“HKL has come a long way. The major achievement is its ability and capacity to widen its product beyond credit, and that’s what we want to support,” Fiebig said.