Shareholders in AMK, one of Cambodia’s largest deposit-taking microfinance institutions, have confirmed the sale of 80.01% of the Company’s shares to SCSB. Current shareholders, Rural Impulse Fund II, Proparco, and the Cambodian Laos Development Fund (CLDF) have exited their shareholdings completely, while current majority shareholder, Agora Microfinance has divested part of its shareholding. 

After the transaction’s completion, AMK’s shareholding structure now includes SCSB, Agora Microfinance and AMK Staff Association. Agora Microfinance, AMK’s current majority shareholder, will remain as a minority shareholder of the Company to ensure continuity and an efficient handover of responsibilities over the following years.

Speaking about the transaction, Mr. John Chen, President of SCSB said: “AMK represents our first acquisition outside Greater China and we are excited about the future prospects for AMK and for Cambodia, in which we look forward to playing a constructive role.  We are impressed with AMK’s social mission and are committed to not only continue but further strengthen it as the institution’s incoming principal shareholder.  SCSB was established in Shanghai in 1915 and is now the premier choice for small- and medium-sized enterprises. It is recognized for its efficient trade financing and remittance services. With the aspiration to serve society, to support industry, and to promote international trade, SCSB’s roots in serving the individual who would not traditionally have had access to banking services are firmly entrenched in the principles that guide SCSB today. SCSB sees a lot of similarity between when SCSB started as a Bank and where AMK is now.

SCSB believes in the vision & mission, values and strategy of AMK and it’s this sharing of minds that will be used as a base for SCSB adding real value to the growth of AMK. We are very excited about this partnership and look forward to building a successful long term relationship with AMK on the foundation of its core values.”

Tanmay Chetan, Chairman of AMK and CEO of Agora Microfinance, said: “AMK’s shareholders, directors and management are delighted to welcome SCSB as our anchor shareholder. The current shareholders believe that AMK’s future success will be considerably strengthened by SCSB’s strong banking experience and expertise.  In particular, SCSB’s interest in furthering the development of Cambodian society, its commitment to AMK’s mission, and its ability to providing long-term capital makes it the ideal shareholder for the next phase of AMK’s development.  We are very excited about this partnership, and what it will bring to AMK and to the wider Cambodian economy.”

Dina Pons, East Asia Regional Director at Incofin Investment Management and AMK’s former Director, said: “We invested in AMK in 2012, to support AMK’s rural outreach strategy. At the end of 2017, AMK had increased significantly (close to double) the number of active loan accounts and deposit accounts with the number of outlets reaching 160 vs 113 in 2012.  Village penetration had also increased to 89%, up from 72% over the same time period. In addition, AMK’s product offering has also diversified significantly, to include local currency saving mobilisation through agents and the launch of a unique micro-insurance product covering health and accident.” Now, as Incofin and the other AMK shareholders have guided AMK to a smooth-running organization, the time has arrived to bring on board a solid long-term investor, and transfer the reins to SCSB. Dina said: “As a responsible impact investor, we considered our mission complete and thus chose to exit to a financially solid investor with the aim to maintain the original social mission and client target. This is the reason why we conducted, along with all other shareholders, a thorough screening process which we called the “Fitness and Compatibility Review”. In our screening of interested investors, SCSB clearly emerged as the one which understood grassroots rural entrepreneurship and its contribution to local economies the best, owing to its own history.  SCSB also has a long view on Cambodia and its microfinance market, where its business decisions are made with the aim to ensure the sustainable and responsible development of AMK and of the microfinance market of Cambodia.”

Kea Borann, CEO of AMK, said: “AMK’s expansion into non-credit business in the recent past, especially its rapidly expanding deposit base, requires an ever-increasing focus on risk and liquidity management. We therefore believe that the addition of a strong banking institution as our main shareholder is an excellent fit for the next step in AMK’s development.  Further, we are very reassured by SCSB’s appreciation of our core mission, its support for the existing management team, and its intent to further deepen our work with Cambodia’s low income market segment.”

 

Contact Details Incofin                                 Contact Details Agora

Dina Pons                                                               Cathy McConnell, Head of Communications

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