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CIMB Thai Bank - Vientiane Branch and IFC Help Expand ACLEDA Bank Lao

CIMB Thai Bank - Vientiane Branch and IFC Help Expand ACLEDA Bank Lao’s Financing for Smaller Businesses in Lao PDR
Vientiane, Lao PDR, January 28, 2016— CIMB Thai Bank - Vientiane Branch is providing $8 million equivalent Lao Kip loan to ACLEDA Bank Lao Ltd. to help boost financing for the country’s micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), including those in the agricultural sector. The local currency loan is fully guaranteed by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group.

MSMEs are an important part of the economy of Lao PDR and employ a large part of the population. Yet, access to finance is seen as a key obstacle to their business growth and expansion since lending is primarily based against collateral.

With local currency loan from CIMB Thai Bank – Vientiane Branch, a member of CIMB Group, ACLEDA Bank Lao, a leading bank for the country’s smaller businesses, aims to triple its MSME lending to about $236 million through over 52,500 loans by the end of 2017.

“Our business is centered on micro, small and medium enterprises whose demand for finance is huge. Serving the sector will bring us opportunities for growth and expansion,” said Narin Phon, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ACLEDA Bank Lao Ltd. “We appreciate IFC’s support in connecting us with CIMB Group for much-needed long-term funding to promote our core business.”

The credit guarantee by IFC has enabled CIMB Group, one of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ leading banking groups, to make an on-shore funding in local currency to a financial institution in Lao PDR.

“We are excited to partner with IFC in this pioneer transaction in Lao PDR to provide long-term financing in local currency to ACLEDA Bank Lao Ltd., while at the same time helping our client and its end-borrowers mitigate exchange-rate risks,” said Surachai Chitratsenee, Deputy Chief Executive Officer & Senior Executive Vice President, Head of Business Support Group of CIMB Thai Bank. “IFC and CIMB Group have developed a close relationship to support private enterprises ASEAN-wide and we hope to do more together in the region,” said Subhak Siwaraksa, President and Chief Executive Officer CIMB Thai Bank.
“The innovative structure, with local currency loan from CIMB Group to ACLEDA Bank Lao backed by an IFC credit guarantee, allows us to effectively support our client’s local currency needs, even when such funding is not readily available in the local market,” said Adel Meer, IFC’s Financial Institutions Group Manager for East Asia and the Pacific. “The funding will allow ACLEDA Bank Lao to provide loans in Lao Kip with competitive interest rates to local companies, which can now concentrate on their core business and mitigate currency risks. We expect to replicate this model in other emerging markets in the region and beyond.”
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About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise, and influence, to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY15, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $18 billion, helping the private sector play an essential role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

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About CIMB Thai Bank
CIMB Thai Bank is a commercial bank registered in Thailand with 165 branches nationwide. It provides a wide variety of financial products and services to corporate, SME and retail customers.  It also offers financial advisory services to corporations, as well as mutual funds, insurances, including other products and services via its existing branch network. For more information, visit www.cimbthai.com

About Acleda Bank Lao Ltd
ACLEDA Bank Lao Ltd is licensed to operate as a commercial bank by the Bank of the Lao PDR, with investment by ACLEDA Bank Plc., (Cambodia) 99.90% and ACLEDA Training Center Ltd. (ATC) 0.10%.  and a paid-up capital of LAK300 billion. It has 41 branch offices nationwide, with 45 ATM machines and 100 POS units, and offers other products and services through its branch network. ACLEDA Bank Lao Ltd aims to be a commercial bank providing superior financial services throughout the Lao PDR.