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Finnish fund invests $10M into Sathapana

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Finland’s OP Finnfund Global Impact Fund I has invested $10 million in local lender Sathapana Bank Plc (left). Heng Chivoan

Finnish fund invests $10M into Sathapana

The local Sathapana Bank Plc has received $10 million from OP Finnfund Global Impact Fund I, the first global emerging markets impact fund in Finland, allowing the bank to expand its loan portfolio to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME), and especially female entrepreneurs.

Sathapana Bank CEO Fung Kai Jin underscored that his bank provides a host of services for SMEs and women entrepreneurs to contribute to the national economy.

“At Sathapana, we not only focus on delivering financial services to our customers, but we also want to deliver non-financial services that provide additional value to SMEs and women entrepreneurs,” he said.

“As we know, the vast majority of Cambodian businesses are SMEs, and they are very vital to the Kingdom’s economy. Twenty-six per cent of SMEs are owned by women in the country, while 62 per cent of micro-enterprises are women-owned, so we can’t emphasise enough their importance to the Cambodian economy.

“We also ensure gender equality in our recruitment, aside from enabling and sustaining these entrepreneurs with our suites of products and services such as business instalment loans, flexi-lending, contactless payment and smart savings,” Fung added.

OP Corporate Bank asset management head Tuomas Virtala stressed that catalysing growth of SMEs and empowering women are at the core of OP Finnfund Global Impact Fund I’s investment strategy.

“We are glad to join forces and support Sathapana’s work both in developing their operations and gender equality within the bank as well as contributing to Cambodian financial sector and the society as a whole,” he said.

Finnfund associate director and financial institutions portfolio head Antti Urvas said that “during the six years of our partnership, we have seen Sathapana developing from a microfinance institution to a commercial bank”.

“Simultaneously, their work towards gender equality and women empowerment has made Sathapana Bank qualified under the 2x Challenge initiative.

“The ambition to develop their operations and become the leading player in the Cambodian payment ecosystem makes Sathapana an interesting partner for Finnfund also in the future, and we are also glad to have OP Finnfund Global Impact Fund I onboard as a new investor in the company,” he said.

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