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IFC and TMB Boost ACLEDA Bank Lao’s Financing to Smaller Businesses in Lao PDR

Vientiane, Lao PDR, October 12, 2017 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and TMB Vientiane Branch of TMB Bank Public Company Limited, Thailand are partnering to provide a $9.1 million equivalent Lao Kip financing to ACLEDA Bank Lao Ltd. The funding will help ACLEDA Bank Lao bolster access to finance for the country’s small and medium enterprises, especially women-owned SMEs, to expand production and grow businesses .
SMEs are drivers of growth and the country’s primary engine of job creation, accounting for 63 percent of the workforce in Lao PDR. However, limited access to finance for domestic SMEs and a gender gap , pose challenge to the nation’s productivity-led growth model. Only 12.4 percent of SMEs in Lao PDR have a bank loan. Furthermore, 31 percent of formal SMEs are women-owned, of which 42 percent are unserved or underserved in terms of access to finance.
With the local currency loan from TMB Vientiane Branch, backed by IFC’s credit guarantee, ACLEDA Bank Lao, a leading bank for the country’s smaller businesses, aims to increase its SME lending to about $60 million to more than 3,000 SMEs by the end of 2021. Specifically, fifty percent of the funding will be exclusively earmarked to women-owned SMEs. This is the second local currency loan by a Thai bank to ACLEDA Bank Lao backed by an IFC guarantee.  
“We seek to increase our reach to SMEs, especially in the lower end of the pyramid and in rural area, as well as women-run and women-managed businesses,” said Dr. Narin Phon, Managing Director and CEO, ACLEDA Bank Lao Ltd. “We appreciate IFC’s support in connecting us with TMB for this long-term Lao Kip funding, which is not readily accessible in the local market.”
The credit guarantee by IFC was made with support from the Global Small and Medium Enterprise Finance Facility and the Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility (WEOF). Launched in March 2012, the Global Small and Medium Enterprise Finance Facility, for which IFC acts as an implementing entity, is a blended finance vehicle mobilizing funding from donors, international finance institutions and the private sector to expand lending to smaller businesses in emerging markets. WEOF is the first-of-its-kind global facility dedicated to expanding access to capital for women entrepreneurs. It was launched by IFC, through its Banking on Women program, and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative in 2014. IFC’s Banking on Women program is playing a catalytic role in helping financial institutions meet the needs of women entrepreneurs in a sustainable and profitable way. The program has committed 49 investments globally, totaling over $1.5 billion, and undertaken 36 advisory projects since its launch in 2010.
“Besides setting future precedents, our partnership with IFC in this transaction will also help our clients and end-borrowers alleviate exchange-rate risks, thus encouraging them to expand lending to more SMEs,” said Louchai Louchaisa, Senior Executive Relationship Manager at TMB Bank Plc.  
“By making long-term local currency funding available to SMEs and in particular, women-owned SMEs, IFC aims to help banks reach their full potential in serving smaller businesses, which in turn will support job creation, boost economic growth, and promote shared prosperity,” said Kyle Kelhofer, IFC Country Manager for Lao PDR, Cambodia and Vietnam. "Additionally, it will help demonstrate in the local market that the SME and women-owned SME segments can be banked profitably, with the appropriate strategies and good risk management systems.”
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 markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY17, we delivered a record $19.3 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org
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About TMB
TMB Bank Plc. operates as a commercial bank serving wholesale, SMEs and retail customers with nation-wide branch network. The bank renamed to "TMB Bank Public Company Limited" in 2005. In 2007, TMB formed a business partnership with ING Bank, a leading financial institution from the Netherlands. TMB then started its Transformation program, a three-stage plan to transform the bank into a customer-centric and high performance organization. Under “Make THE Difference” philosophy, TMB encourages people to challenge the status quo and improve benefits of all the bank’s stakeholders. For more information, visit www.tmbbank.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 from ACLEDA Bank Plc. of Cambodia (99.9%) and ACLEDA Institute of Business (0.1%) plus paid-up capital of LAK300 billion. With 41 branch offices nationwide, 96,502 customer accounts with deposits of more than US$93 million, 56 ATM machines, and 100 POS units, the bank offers a range of products and services through its branch network. ACLEDA Bank Lao Ltd aims to serve its clients with quality financial services across the Lao PDR. For more information, visit www.acledabank.com.la
About Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women
The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative is a campaign to foster economic growth by providing women entrepreneurs around the world with a business and management education and access to capital. The initiative has reached women from across 56 countries through a network of 100 academic, nonprofit, and bank partners.