Cambodia: Leopard Cambodia Fund Backs Local Microfinance Group IPR

Jan 2011
Battambang, Cambodia, January, 04 2011 - Developing market-focused private equity group Leopard Capital has acquired a 33.7 per cent stake in a Cambodian microfinance institution (MFI), Intean Poalroath Rongroeurng (IPR).

The Cayman Islands-domiciled firm’s Leopard Cambodia Fund will back IPR, giving it the capital to fund new microfinance loans and update its information technology systems.

“IPR is unique among local MFIs as it supports Cambodia’s rice industry by helping farmers invest in better seeds, fertiliser and equipment,” said Douglas Clayton, Leopard Capital’s CEO.

The company was established and granted a MFI license in 2005. It was set up by entrepreneur Okhna Phou Puy in response to capital constraints faced by the Federation of Cambodian Rice Millers Association, of which he serves as Chairman.

Okhna Phou Puy is based in Battambang, Cambodia’s second largest city, and has set up businesses in rice milling, microfinance, consumer goods distribution,and real estate development primarily in Northwest Cambodia.

IPR provides individual loans to farmers and small agricultural businesses primarily in rural areas of Cambodia. The business offers working loans of between one and 12 months and investment loans from 12 to 36 months.

It operates in six provinces in Cambodia and has its headquarters in Phnom Penh.

“Leopard’s participation will help strengthen our management and reporting systems while facilitating further expansion of our loan book, foreign borrowings, and branch network,” said Hort Bun Song, CEO of IPR.

The Leopard Cambodia Fund, the southeast Asian country’s first private equity fund. was launched in April 2008, and raised $34m even during global financial turmoil.

It has since made eight investments in Cambodia in the telecommunications, banking, agriculture, food processing, energy, and housing sectors.

Leopard has raised other funds to invest in other Asian countries including Laos, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Source : CAAI News Media

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