Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - SME Bank and ARDB disburse $63M in loans

SME Bank and ARDB disburse $63M in loans

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Small and Medium Enterprise Bank of Cambodia (SME Bank) CEO Dexter Tan Beng Kong. Hong Menea

SME Bank and ARDB disburse $63M in loans

State-owned financial institutions Small and Medium Enterprise Bank of Cambodia (SME Bank) and Agricultural and Rural Development Bank of Cambodia (ARDB) have disbursed $63.44 million in loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as of Tuesday.

SME Bank CEO Dexter Tan Beng Kong told a press conference held at the Council of Ministers on Thursday that microfinance institutions (MFIs) participating in the SME Co-Financing Scheme 2020 (SCFS) had received 175 loan applications for $21.44 million.

SME Bank has approved 168 of the applications for $19.75 million, he said.

He noted that the approved loans came from a diverse range of businesses spanning sectors such as food production and processing, consumer goods, tourism goods and waste management, industrial components, information technology (IT) research and development, and IT services sector.

“We believe that the $100 million allotted to this project will be used up by the end of this year,” Tan said.

The $100 million fund behind the project is jointly financed by the SME Bank and 32 other participating financial institutions.

These are 23 commercial banks, two specialised banks, five microfinance deposit-taking institutions (MDIs) and two MFIs.

SMEs can borrow up to $200,000 for working capital and $300,000 for investment capital with a maximum interest rate of seven per cent per annum and a repayment period of seven years.

ARDB director-general Kao Thach told the press conference that ARDB had received 430 loan applications for $42 million as of Tuesday. It has approved more than $11.37 million in loans.

He said: “Most of the loan applications come from pig, fish, chicken, duck and cattle farmers, as well as vegetable and fruit growers, as well as processors of agricultural products. We hope that the fund will be used up by the end of this year.”

The government in May decided to cut the annual interest rates from six to five per cent for working capital and from 6.5 to 5.5 per cent for capital investment, without service charges.

It also adjusted the maximum loan term from five to seven years for capital investment while retaining a short-term maximum of two years for working capital.

Ministry of Economy and Finance undersecretary of state Ros Seilava told a news conference that the economic crisis instigated by Covid-19 had been the primary trigger for the emergency SME lending endeavours.

He said the government has allocated $500 million in loans for SMEs in “a second phase”. Of that, $300 million will be provided for financing support and $200 million will be for credit guarantee projects.

“I hope that this magnitude of funding will help sustain our economy during the health crisis and be ready for recovery when it is over,” Seilava said.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro

  • ACLEDA, WU to enable global money transfers

    Cambodia's largest commercial bank by total assets ACLEDA Bank Plc and global money transfer firm Western Union (WU) have partnered to offer customers cross-border money transfers to 200 countries via “ACLEDA mobile” app. In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA, said the June 22 agreement

  • Aeon, Micromax partner again for third mall

    AEON Mall (Cambodia) Co Ltd and a locally-owned Micromax Co Ltd have entered into a partnership agreement to develop fibre optic infrastructure for $200 million Aeon Mall 3, which is expected to be opened in 2023. The agreement was signed on June 20 between Masayuki Tsuboya, managing director of

  • Walmart plans to diversify stock of Cambodia goods

    Walmart Inc, the world’s biggest retailer, on June 22 reiterated recent plans to scale up and greatly diversify its purchases of Cambodian products, according to the labour ministry. This came during a virtual working meeting between Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Samheng and