Signing of a $135 million credit facility to support the agricultural sector

ACLEDA Bank Group Chairman and Chief Executive In Channy (right) signs the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on May 27. ACLEDA

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Singapore Branch of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp (SMBC) on May 27 signed a $135 million facility agreement with ACLEDA Bank Plc to channel more lending to agriculture , depending on the local lender.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, ACLEDA Bank Group Chairman and CEO In Channy said the long-term financing program of the two Japanese institutions would provide the local bank with an important avenue to lend a helping hand. to micro, small and medium enterprises. (MSMEs) at the national level in need of financing for agricultural production or to better manage their income.

He took the opportunity to praise the value of the bank’s assets and the extent of its network of national branches, pointing out that they were number one in Cambodia.

“Cambodians from all segments of the communities, especially those [living] in rural areas can access financial services from ACLEDA Bank, including loans[s] in agriculture,” Channy said.

He said the $135 million facility would “promote access to finance, even more actively in rural areas, … for new agricultural lending … to promote agricultural production and socio-economic development.”

Agriculture is a major pillar of the Kingdom’s economy, which, according to JICA, accounts for about 20% of gross domestic product (GDP) and 30% of employment.

“On the other hand, access to finance in the agricultural sector is limited to around 9% of the total amount of loans in the country, and more than half of the farmers have no access to finance,” said the overseas development department of the Japanese government. said the arm.

“About 90% of Cambodia’s poor live in rural areas, where about 80% of the population is engaged in agriculture, and the income in these areas is only about 50-60% of that in urban areas, which which creates economic disparity.

“This loan will help improve access to finance for these rural farmers through ACLEDA Bank, the financial institution with the largest loan balance in the agricultural sector in Cambodia. The loan aims to contribute to sustainable economic growth in Cambodia by supporting the expansion of agricultural lending,” JICA added.

ACLEDA Bank reported that as of March 31, total assets stood at $8.16 billion, total credit portfolio at $5.79 billion and total deposits at $5.90 billion, and that the number of customers had exceeded 3.44 million.

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