ImpactAlpha, June 27 – Woori Bank, a large Korean commercial bank, has acquired World Vision International’s Cambodian microfinance operations. VisionFund Cambodia launched in the early 1990s and currently has a $175 million loan portfolio and serves more than 200,000 clients. Ninety percent are women. The institution is the largest in World Vision’s microfinance network, VisionFund International. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Proceeds from the sale will be redistributed across VisionFund’s microfinance network, which is present in almost 30 countries.
- Microfinance growth… Woori Bank has a presence in a number of the region’s emerging markets, including microfinance operations in Myanmar. “This acquisition cements our commitment to Cambodia where we look forward to playing a bigger role in the development of its financial services market,” Woori Bank’s Kyung Hoon Park said.
- Financial services gap… Eighty percent of Cambodians live in rural areas and less than 20% of adults have access to financial services. Microfinance serves almost as many borrowers as Cambodia’s mainstream banking sector and play “a very important role, providing access to finance to a mostly rural population that would otherwise have to rely on unregulated private money lenders.”