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Microfinance body calls for more lending

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Customers wait for financial services at an Prasac branch in Kampong Speu province. File Photo Hong Menea

Microfinance body calls for more lending

Cambodia Microfinance Association (CMA) on April 27 urged its members to release more credit to customers as the spread of Covid-19, exacerbated by the February 20 community transmission is having a huge impact on all businesses, especially in Phnom Penh and Takmao town.

Speaking at the "Credit Restructuring" event held virtually, CMA Communications Department director Kaing Tongngy said the additional credit would help people and reduce lending rates.

He added that “the mechanism for promoting credit restructuring” would also be encouraged during and after the latest outbreak, stressing that all businesses need the additional capital.

"This mechanism aims to protect clients affected by Covid-19 directly and indirectly. And if any customers are affected by Covid-19, they can apply for credit restructuring directly through agencies or institutions,” he said.

The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) issued a circular on loan restructuring on March 27 last year with the aim of helping clients affected by the Covid-19 financial crisis.

As of last month, CMA members have restructured more than $1.4 billion in loans for nearly 300,000 borrowers since the NBC issued the directive, according to Tongngy.

He highlighted the importance of the financial system, saying that problems will likely spill over into other sectors. He encouraged the general public to seek mediation or intervention from the CMA if faced with a credit issue that member institutions cannot resolve.

At the same time, the communications director requested that customers with limited or no impact from the pandemic to continue to repay their loans on a regular basis and provide institutions with additional possibilities to help other customers.

He said CMA membership includes more than 100 microfinance institutions and four banks – Hattha Bank Plc, Phillip Bank Plc, SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc, and AEON Specialized Bank (Cambodia) Plc.

As of the end of March, member institutions logged $6 billion in outstanding loans to about two million clients and $3.8 billion in deposits to 2.8 million clients, according to Tongngy.

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