ACLEDA Bank sees surge in deposits, SME loans

ACLEDA Bank Lao Ltd expects loan and deposit accounts to exceed this year's target, due to a sharp increase in the number of customers.

The bank's CEO and Managing Director, Mr Narin Phon, said in an interview at a Pi Mai Lao ceremony last week that the bank had planned to disburse loans of over 457 billion kip (US$57 million) by the end of the year.

“So far we have already loaned over US$43 million,” Mr Narin said.

For deposit accounts, the bank had targeted about 369 billion kip (US$46 million), “but now we can reach US$38 billion,” he said. “So, I feel certain that this year's outcome will be much larger than the target.”

“I think loans will be up to 481 billion to 521 billion kip (US$60 million to US$65 million), while deposits will be over 401 billion kip (US$50 million).”

Most of the bank's customers are family businesses and small and medium sized businesses, he said, and most operate outside the city in rural areas.

The bank is becoming a successful financial service provider for this group, with loans increasing since the bank set up operations in Laos over three years ago.

The bank had disbursed loans to over 12,900 families by last June since opening for business in July 2008. By the end of last year it had disbursed 637 billion kip (US$79 million) in loans to 18,375 families.

The bank has provided loans for various family businesses such as farming, fish breeding, transport services and grocery shops, as well as personal loans so people can buy a motorbike or car. Loans start at just 100,000 kip (US$12.5).

Currently the bank is improving its service systems, hoping to introduce various facilities at service units in remote areas, including fast opening deposit accounts, withdrawals and loans.

This year it installed an additional 15 ATMs in Vientiane and some of the provinces. “So far we have 30 ATMs and we'll have 15 more next year,” Mr Narin said. “Currently, we issue ATM cards without a fee charge in a bid to attract more clients.”

The bank has an annual budget of US$2 million, which it will spend on improvements and expansion projects, and hopes to have 23 offices in Laos by the end of the first quarter of 2012.

Its current 22 offices include 17 services units, four branches in Savannakhet, Champassak, Khammuan and Saravan provinces, and the headquarters in Vientiane.

It was the first Cambodia-based commercial bank to operate in Laos. Its shareholders comprise ACLEDA Bank Plc (Cambodia), International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group) and the Netherlands' Development Finance Company, Triodos-Doen and Triodos Fair Share Fund.

vientiane times

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