IFC’s lending package helps Vietnamese SMEs

Hanoi (VNA) – The International FinanceCorporation (IFC) announced on December 19 a successful syndicated senior loanpackage transfer of 110 million USD to An Binh Commercial Joint Stock Bank(ABBANK) as a joint effort to boost the latter’s small and medium enterprises(SMEs) lending.

The loan is the first phase of a 150 million USD financingpackage from IFC and Goldman Sachs for ABBANK, with more than one third of thesaid funding intended for women-owned SMEs.

The December 19 statement from ABBANK indicated its aim totriple outstanding SME portfolio and quadruple lending to women-owned SMEs,which are expected to go beyond 1 billion USD by 2021.

IFC disclosed that out of the total 150 million USD financingpackage, it would contribute 40 million USD from its own account, 70 millionUSD from Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (ICBC), Bangkok BankPublic Company Limited and Maybank International Ltd and 40 million USD fromtwo other international lenders to be decided by 2018.

At least 45 million USD will be exclusively allocated towomen-owned SMEs, Kyle Kelhofer, IFC country manager for Vietnam, Cambodia andLaos, said.

“This project will promote women-owned SMEs as a viablebusiness opportunity when provided with tailored products, appropriateofferings and right marketing. Subsequently, it will support the growth ofwomen-owned SMEs, which will in turn create jobs and drive wage growth”, headded.

ABBANK confirmed it would make use of the said much-neededsyndicated funding from IFC and partner banks.

Long-term funding for SMEs is going to become critical inVietnam, as SMEs account for more than 98 percent of the country’s businessesand 50 percent of employment, according to IFC’s research.

However, IFC also found that only 30 percent of registeredSMEs have access to formal financial services, which is even more difficult forwomen-owned SMEs, with an estimated credit gap of 1.2 billion USD per annum.

The loan scheme was launched in cooperation with theGoldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative, a global finance facilitysince 2014 to enable access to capital to more women entrepreneurs.

IFC became ABBANK’s foreign investor with 10 percent equitystake in 2013.-VNA

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