MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO) Loans $4m Each to Prasac and Sathapana, Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in Cambodia

The Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO), established in 2001, recently loaned USD 4 million each to two microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Cambodia: Prasac and Sathapana. Both MFIs have received loans from BIO in the past. According to a press release, “These new investments confirm BIO’s confidence in the ability of MFIs to provide financing to people who have the competences and skills but lack financial resources to develop a sustainable economic activity and contribute to the prosperity of their country, community and family” [1].

BIO has invested in approximately 90 projects and is present in 60 countries. In 2009, BIO had EUR 261.4 million (USD 319 million) in net commitments. Prasac was founded in 1995 and had total assets of USD 61.3 million as of 2008. Sathapana, formerly known as Cambodian Entrepreneur Building Limited (CEB), was established in 2001 and had total assets of USD 41.4 million as of 2008.

By Julia Korn, Research Associate

About The Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO):

The Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO), established in 2001, works to promote the creation of a strong private sector in developing countries to enable them to gain access to sustainable development and prosperity. BIO invests directly in private sector projects. BIO has invested in over 90 projects and is present in nearly 60 countries. In 2009, BIO had EUR 261.4 million (USD 319 million) in net commitments (the volume of financing contracts signed, less cumulated repayments, plus contracts formally approved by the board). In December 2009, the Belgian government allocated EUR 97 million (USD 118.4 million) in new funds to BIO.

About Prasac:

Officially registered in 2004 with the Ministry of Commerce as a private limited liability company, Prasac was formerly a credit component of the “Prasac Project.” The project was funded by the European Union and implemented by the Royal Government of Cambodia. Prasac is now a microfinance institution (MFI) in Cambodia. As of 2008 it had a gross loan portfolio of USD 59.4 million, an average loan balance per borrower of USD 593, total assets of USD 61.3 million, 100,000 active borrowers, total deposits of USD 63,000 and 2,900 depositors.

About Sathapana:

Originally founded as an NGO called The Cambodian Entrepreneur Building Limited (CEB), Sathapana registered in 2001 with the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) as a microfinance institution (MFI). As of 2008, Sathapana had a gross loan portfolio of USD 37.6 million, 37,000 active borrowers, an average loan balance per borrower of USD 1,000, total deposits of USD 1.9 million, total assets of USD 41.4 million and 21,000 depositors.

Sources and Additional Resources:

[1] BIO Press Release. “BIO boosts investments in Cambodia.” Submitted to MicroCapital on July 29, 2010.

MicroCapital Universe. Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO). http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Belgian+Investment+Company+for+Developing+Countries+%28BIO%29

MicroCapital Universe. Prasac. http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Prasac

MicroCapital Universe: Sathapana. http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Sathapana

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