Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - South Korean bank buys local MFI

South Korean bank buys local MFI

South Korean bank buys local MFI

South Korea-based Woori Bank has purchased Cambodian microfinance institution Malis Finance for $4.9 million.

Hun Soopheak, general manager of Malis Finance, said the deal was finalised two weeks ago; however, the firm is still awaiting approval from Cambodian regulators.

“Everything remains the same, but with the new shareholder,” Soopheak said.

Soopheak also revealed plans for Malis, which was launched in 2011 with $2.25 million in start-up capital, to develop into a commercial bank within the next five years.

“[Woori Bank] is looking to enter the ASEAN market, so they want to start in Cambodia with an MFI then . . . a bank,” he said.

“It’s difficult to develop a [stable] business model in Cambodia due to its low levels of economic development, so we’ve decided to first gain more expertise in the market by trying our hand in the micro financing business,,” a Woori bank official told the Korean Herald last week.

Sim Senacheeert, CEO of rival MFI Prasac Microfinance, welcomed the South Korean firm’s interest in Cambodia’s financial sector.

“We have seen many foreign investors coming because local investors are simply not interested – or don’t understand how MFI works,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh authorities ban march for Human Rights Day

    Phnom Penh authorities have banned a planned march as local NGOs and workers’ unions gear up to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Monday, with a youth group leader saying they would march nonetheless. The UN

  • Phnom Penh’s Jet’s Container Night Market shuts down

    The famous Jet’s Container Night Market in central Phnom Penh has shut down due to the high cost of the land rental, company representatives claim. Jet’s Container Night Market is the largest such market in Phnom Penh. It operated for just over two

  • Hun Sen rejects ‘rift’ rumours spread by ‘stupid gangsters’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday denied a “rift” among top leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), and rejected claims that Senate president Say Chhum and Interior Minister Sar Kheng were set to be removed from their positions as rumours spread by “gangsters”.

  • EU ambassador to Cambodia: Rights a ‘work in progress’

    The EU ambassador to Cambodia has called human rights “a work in progress” and said the 28-nation bloc has “carefully” noted last week’s statement by the government on taking further steps to strengthen democracy and the political sphere in the Kingdom. The EU marked