Advans SA is pleased to announce that it is now majority shareholder in the Cambodian microfinance institution Amret. Claude Falgon, Chairman of the Board for Amret and Executive Director of Advans says: “We are proud to say that Amret is now a full subsidiary of the Advans group and we believe that our reinforced partnership will be beneficial for Amret and the development of the group as a whole. Amret was Advans SA’s first investment in 2006
In the recent transaction, approved in early 2015 by the National Bank of Cambodia Advans SA purchased 8.4% of Amret’s shares to increase its share ownership from 44.4% to 52.8%.
Amret is a leading microfinance institution in Cambodia serving MSMEs and low and middle-income populations with a focus on rural areas, agriculture and district and provincial cities.
Amret currently has over 2,900 staff and serves over 367,000 clients from 128 branches across Cambodia, with over USD 156 million in outstanding deposits and over USD 309 million in outstanding loans. Advans SA is headquartered in Luxembourg and was created in August 2005 by Horus Development Finance (Horus). Its capital is EUR 63.6 million. Its mission is to build a network of microfinance institutions (MFIs) in developing and emerging countries to cater to the financial needs of micro, small, and medium sized enterprises, which have limited or no access to formal banking services.
The Advans network currently spans nine countries: Cambodia, Cameroon, Ghana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Côte d’Ivoire, Pakistan, Nigeria and Tunisia.
On the other hand, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, acquired 19.9 per cent of Amret’s share capital, with the aim of increasing lending to micro and smaller businesses, as well as low-to-middle-income borrowers in Cambodia.
“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.
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.
H.E. Kim Vada, director general of bank supervision at the National Bank of Cambodia, welcomed the investment from foreign partners emphasising investor confidence in Cambodia's financial sector. “I do believe Amret will keep expanding its business coverage by introducing creative products and services to serve the customer,” he said.