News: IFC Arranges $150 Million Financing Package for ABBANK to Expand Lending to Smaller Businesses and Women-Owned SMEs


IFC and Goldman Sachs  announced a syndicated senior loan of $110 million to An Binh Commercial Joint Stock Bank (ABBANK) to boost lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). This is the first phase of a up to $150 million financing package IFC is arranging for the bank. At least one third of the funding will support women-owned enterprises. 

With this funding, ABBANK aims to triple its SME portfolio and quadruple the size of its lending to women-owned SMEs over a five-year period. The outstanding SME portfolio is expected to reach more than $1 billion by 2021. 

As Vietnam’s economic growth continues, long-term funding for SMEs is going to become critical. While SMEs account for more than 98 percent of the country’s businesses and 50 percent of employment, only 30 percent of the registered SMEs has access to formal financial services. Further, a new IFC study finds that it is even more difficult for women-owned SMEs to obtain bank loans, with an estimated credit gap of $1.2 billion per annum. 

Posted: 2018-09-12

News: Amazon Says SMEs Account for Half of Its Sales


Amazon says that small businesses and entrepreneurs had a record-breaking season with more than one billion items ordered worldwide. Over just five days, from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, nearly 140 million items were ordered from small businesses and entrepreneurs.  Reports say that a big driver of this trend is Fulfillment by Amazon, the program that lets small businesses offer Prime two-day shipping by preshipping their items to Amazon fulfillment centers, and letting the company handle packaging, shipping and customer service.

CNBC and SurveyMonkey polled small businesses on the e-commerce giant last quarter and found about one-third think Amazon is good for business, nearly half say Amazon is bad for business, but less than 10 percent said they actually compete with Amazon for customers.

Posted: 2018-09-12

News: Mastercard, South Indian Bank Partner on Card Accepting Kit


SME Finance Forum member Mastercard and South India Bank will together launch ‘Merchant in a Box’ an integrated card accepting kit for merchants and SMEs. 

The kit includes a branded business debit card and the Bharat QR service, along with instant access to bank accounts and the acceptance of digital payments, according to the article. 

Rajeev Kumar, Mastercard Senior Vice-President of Market Development for South Asia shared, “Merchants and SMEs form a large base of the Indian ecosystem and we believe that ‘Merchant in a Box’ solution will assist them in their digital payments journey and address all their requirements.”

According to the article, SMEs can use the business debit card from the kit to pay over three million domestic and 40 million international merchants.

Posted: 2018-09-12
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