Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 13 March 2015—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, has acquired 19.9 percent of the share
capital of Amret Co., the third-largest microfinance institution in Cambodia
by gross outstanding loans, to increase lending to micro and smaller businesses
as well as low-to-middle-income borrowers. This will help raise incomes,
expand businesses, and create jobs in Cambodia.
In addition to the equity investment,
IFC has also provided a senior loan of up to $10 million to Amret, which
was established in 1991 and has the second-highest number of borrowers
among microfinance institutions in Cambodia. IFC will also help Amret improve
its shareholding structure and corporate-governance and disclosure standards
to support its transformation into a commercial bank.
“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
Over the past two decades, Cambodia’s
microfinance sector has been developing rapidly with annual growth rates
of more than 30 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 an important phase of development: Several key microfinance institutions
are planning to transform into either deposit-taking lenders or commercial
banks offering a wider range of banking products,” said Adel Meer, IFC’s
Financial Institutions Group Manager for East Asia and the Pacific. “IFC
is supporting Amret’s transformation with our financing and advice. This
will help the company extend financial services to more borrowers in poorer
provinces and increase lending for agricultural activities that are critical
to economic growth.”
IFC’s support to Amret follows its
success in assisting the transition of ACLEDA Bank from a microfinance
institution funded by nongovernmental organizations into Cambodia’s largest
bank by assets today.
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
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 and district and provincial cities.
Amret offers a wide range of loan and deposit services including solidarity
credits, individual credits, SME loans, savings accounts and term deposits.
Amret currently has over 2,900 staff and serves over 367,000 clients from
128 branches across Cambodia, with more than $156 million in outstanding
deposits and more than $309 million in outstanding loans. For more information,
please visit www.amret.com.kh