IFC Invests in Cambodia’s Amret Microfinance Institution to Expand Lending for Micro and Smaller Business
Phnom Penh, Cambodia, May 08, 2015—Amret Microfinance Institution Ltd. has announced today that it will receive a senior loan of $10 million from IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, to increase lending to micro and smaller businesses and create more jobs.
Amret has also signed a risk diagnostic agreement with IFC to improve its risk management in which IFC will conduct a comprehensive review of Amret’s risk management practices, processes and systems, and provide recommendations to address any gaps identified. The loan follows an equity investment where IFC acquired a 19.9 percent stake in Amret in March 2015
“With IFC’s support, we strongly believe that our business will grow more rapidly and reach more small businesses and individuals seeking loans,” said Chea Phalarin, CEO of Amret. “With the necessary financing, they can grow their businesses and improve their livelihoods.”
Over the past two decades, Cambodia’s microfinance sector has been developing rapidly with annual growth rates of 30 to 40 percent, benefiting more than 1.9 million borrowers. Yet, many microfinance institutions’ operations remain small in scale and do not have national reach.
“The microfinance sector in Cambodia is at a critical phase of development, and IFC is keen to support the transformation of more microfinance institutions into either deposit-taking lenders or commercial banks,” said Adel Meer, IFC’s Financial Institutions Group Manager for East Asia and the Pacific. “By providing both investment and advice to Amret, IFC can help the company increase lending to more small and agricultural businesses as well as individual borrowers in poorer provinces, thus contributing to Cambodia’s economic growth.”
About Amret Amret is a leading microfinance institution in Cambodia serving micro, small and medium enterprises and low-to-middle‐income populations with a focus on rural areas, agriculture, SME in districts and provincial cities. Amret offers a wide range of loans and deposit services including solidarity credits, individual credits, SME loans, savings accounts and term deposits. By the end of April 2015, Amret has more than 2,900 staff and serves more than 375,000 clients from 129 branches across Cambodia, with over $166 million in outstanding deposits and $330 million in outstanding loans. For more information, please visit www.amret.com.kh
About IFC IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development. For more information, visit www.ifc.org