MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: USAID to Guarantee $15m in Agricultural Lending by Cambodia’s AMK Microfinance Institution, LOLC, RMA Financial Services

Through its Development Credit Authority (DCA), the US Agency for International Development (AID) has agreed to guarantee a portion of agricultural loans totaling USD 15 million to be disbursed by two microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Cambodia, Angkor Mikroheranhvatho Kampuchea (AMK) Microfinance Institution and LOLC Cambodia as well as the local arm of Thailand-based Rochester Midland Asia (RMA), a provider of equipment, hospitality and other services. The facility, which has a term of seven years, is earmarked for deployment in the provinces of Battambang, Kampong Thom, Pursat and Siem Reap.

Saing Ngorn, the CEO of RMA Cambodia, was quoted as saying, “Farmers in one of these provinces can now take out a lease with our company on any agricultural machinery, like tractors [and] if they face any problems repaying the loan due to low agricultural fields, the fund can be used to help them out.”

AMK was founded in 1999 by Concern Worldwide, a charitable organization in Ireland. It became an independent company in 2003, was licensed as an MFI in 2004 and received a deposit-taking license in 2010. As of 2016, AMK has total assets of USD 216 million, a gross loan portfolio of USD 153 million and USD 89 million in deposits.
LOLC Cambodia was founded in 1994 as Thaneakea Phum (Cambodia) by US-based NGO Catholic Relief Services. As of 2016, LOLC Cambodia reports USD 255 million in total assets, a gross loan portfolio of USD 222 million and USD 19 million in total deposits. The MFI is controlled by Sri Lanka’s LOLC Group, which is a member of the Japanese firm Orix. LOLC Group, whose name derives from “Lanka Orix Leasing Company,” is a conglomerate with operations in Cambodia, Myanmar and Pakistan as well as Sri Lanka.
RMA is an affiliate of the US-based Rochester Midland Corporation that was formed in 1980. It provides equipment and services related to industries such as “automotive, infrastructure, agriculture machinery, warehouse solutions, financial solutions, car rental service, food franchise management and…aid and development contractors.”

USAID is a government agency that provides international economic and humanitarian assistance. It focuses on areas such as economic growth, agriculture, trade, health, democracy, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance. Under the Development Credit Authority (DCA), it provides credit guarantees that cover up to 50 percent of defaults on loans to underserved borrowers. USAID reported USD 30 billion in budgetary resources for 2017.

By Ryan Gauthier, Research Associate

Sources and additional resources

The Khmer Times article:

AMK Cambodia:

LOLC Cambodia:

LOLC (Sri Lanka):

RMA Financial Services Cambodia:

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Microfinance Information Exchange:

USAID 2017 Financial Report:

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