LOLC buys majority stake in Cambodian microfinance firm

Daily Ft: LOLC International Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lanka ORIX Leasing Company (LOLC), and The Bank of East Asia (BEA), have acquired a majority interest in PRASAC Microfinance Institution Ltd.

The acquisition was made from Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries SA (BIO), Dragon Capital Group Ltd. and Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V.  Under the new ownership structure, the LOLC Group’s stake in PRASAC increased to 70%, while BEA holds 21% and 9% is held by P S Co., Ltd.

As a Cambodia-incorporated financial institution, PRASAC has evolved significantly since its inception in 1995 as a credit provider involved in financing to rehabilitate the agricultural sector in rural Cambodia. 

During the last 10 years, PRASAC has grown its asset from $37 million to $1.3 billion, and is now the largest micro finance company in Cambodia.

PRASAC’s operations have a far-reaching impact at a national level, providing mainly individual loans through 181 branches in all 25 provinces in Cambodia with more than 6,400 employees and an outreach of 350,000 customers in mostly rural communities. PRASAC also has approximately 530,000 depositors with a deposit base of over $660 million as of February 2017. PRASAC has plans to diversify its business and transform into a licensed commercial bank in the near future.

“We would like to express our gratitude towards BIO, Dragon Capital and FMO for their strong support over the past 10 years and look forward to a renewed partnership with our existing shareholder LOLC and strategic investor BEA to further contribute to sustainable economic development and financial inclusion in Cambodia,” PRASAC CEO Sim Senacheert.

 “We saw great potential in PRASAC from the outset, and it was therefore LOLC Group’s maiden overseas investment. We would like to convey our appreciation to the outgoing shareholders for their contribution and look forward to working closely with BEA and the PRASAC management in fulfilling the shared goal of elevating and empowering micro entrepreneurs to create a sustainable, inclusive economy in Cambodia,” LOLC Group Deputy Chairman Ishara Nanayakkara.

“We at BEA are pleased to establish a foothold in Cambodia, a core member of the ASEAN Economic Community, with LOLC and PRASAC Management,” said Dr. David K.P. Li, Chairman and Chief Executive of BEA. “Through PRASAC, our Bank will further strengthen its presence in Southeast Asia. This strategic investment will enable us to better capitalise on the opportunities arising from China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiatives’.”

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