US asset manager MicroVest is lending $9 million over five years to Acleda Bank, a publicly traded company that operates in three countries, to support Acleda’s provision of financial services to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Cambodia, especially those owned by women. The investment is part of a syndication for Acleda by the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) that is to include up to $100 million each from IFC and a group of third-party partners. To support syndication, the Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility, which was created by IFC and U.S. financial institution Goldman Sachs, is offering performance-based incentives of up to $550,000 if Acleda meets various goals to serve women-owned businesses. women.
Acleda Bank evolved from an NGO established in 1993 to serve micro and small businesses in Cambodia. The organization became a commercial bank in 2003 and from 2022 its mission is “to provide micro, small and medium-sized entrepreneurs with the means to manage their financial resources effectively and, in doing so, improve the quality of their lives. “. The bank offers credit and deposits as well as cash management, remittances, trade finance, payment cards and other services to individuals and businesses online and through 263 branches in Cambodia.
Subsidiaries of Acleda Bank include Cambodia-based Acleda Institute of Business; Acleda Securities, based in Cambodia; Acleda MFI Myanmar, a microfinance institution (MFI) offering loans and savings to microentrepreneurs through 17 branches in Myanmar; and Acleda Bank Lao, a financial institution with 38 branches in Laos. As of December 2021, the parent organization reported $7.9 billion in assets, $5.7 billion in deposits, $5.4 billion in loans and advances, and year-over-year earnings of $167 million.
Launched in 2004, MicroVest comprises a family of funds that invest in MFIs in emerging markets. It reported a gross loan portfolio of US$519 million as of June 2021. MicroVest is a subsidiary of Development Alternatives Incorporated (DAI), a US-based international development company that focuses on “fundamental social and development issues.” economy caused by inefficient markets, ineffective governance and instability.
Founded in 1956, IFC provides loans, equity investments, advisory services and technical assistance to private enterprises with the goal of reducing poverty and promoting open and competitive markets in low- and middle-income countries. In the 12 months ending June 2021, the organization disbursed investments totaling $31 billion, of which around a third was mobilized from partner institutions.
The World Bank Group is a multilateral organization whose goal is “to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity in a sustainable way”. In 2022, it has 189 member countries. The group includes: (1) the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Development Association, which constitute the World Bank; (2) IFC; (3) the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency; and (4) the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes. In its 2021 fiscal year, the World Bank Group disbursed funds totaling $60 billion.
Goldman Sachs provides banking, investment management, financial advisory and other services to businesses, governments and individuals. Founded in 1869, the company is headquartered in New York City and has offices in 39 countries. As of December 2021, it had total assets of $1.5 trillion.
By Saulius Simonas Ramanauskas, Research Associate
Sources and additional sources
MicroVest press release
IFC disclosure on investment in Acleda
Acleda home page
MicroVest home page
DAI home page
World Bank Group home page
Goldman Sachs homepage
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