Woori to buy Cambodian microfinance institution

Friday, June 20, 2014

Woori Bank has decided to acquire Cambodia’s microfinance institution Malis Finance for 5 billion won ($4.9 million) to accelerate its global expansion.

The Financial Services Commission approved Woori Bank’s acquisition of Malis on Wednesday, according to bank officials.

The purchase of the Cambodia-based firm marks the bank’s second attempt at making inroads into the Southeast Asian country after its failure in 2008 due to the global financial crisis.

“It’s difficult to develop a (stable) business model in Cambodia due to its low levels of economic development, so we’ve decided to first gain more expertise in the market by trying our hand in the microfinancing business and gradually move onto banking,” said one high-ranking Woori Bank official.

The deal still needs to pass screening by Cambodian regulators to gain their approval before it can be finalized, according to Woori Bank spokespeople.

Source: Korea Herald (link opens in a new window)

impact investing, microfinance