Four foreign banks, under the umbrella of the International Finance Cooperation, a member of World Bank Group, provided $65 million in syndicated loans to Cambodian microfinance institution Prasac to expand its lending portfolio.
The loan signed in Bangkok yesterday comprises $20 million each from three Thai-based banks – Kiatnakin Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, and TMB Bank – and $5 million from Dutch bank ING.
This will supplement the $10 million loan the International Finance Cooperation (IFC) made in April to increase Prasac’s agro-based small and micro lending.
“Expanding lending to micro borrowers and smaller businesses is a focus of Prasac’s growth,” said Sim Senacheert, chief executive officer at the microfinance institution.
Say Sony, senior vice president at Prasac, said this was the first time that Thai banks have offered loans to Cambodia’s MFIs.
“It is the first time for all these Thai banks to lend to MFIs,” he said, adding that his institution targets a 60 to 70 per cent loan disbursement into the SME sector.
“The syndicated loan for Prasac exemplifies our continued support to Cambodian financial institutions that are the conduits to business creation and growth, to employment, and to higher standards of living,” said IFC’s financial institutions group manager for East Asia and the Pacific Adel Meer.
As of March 2015, Prasac had lent $658 million to more than 266,000 active borrowers.
By investing in Cambodian MFIs, the IFC aims to expand lending to around 845,000 people, or 48 per cent of the borrowers who use MFIs to service their credit needs.
Prasac said in April, when it was awarded the $10 million, said the while the IFC had placed no restrictions on the use of this money, it was expected to be proportional to its current clientele, 85 per cent of which are women.