The Business Owner Who Received a Loan Guaranteed by CGCC

Agriculture is a key sector in supporting the national economic growth. Rice market also plays an important role in promoting agriculture. Chhun Thom Rice Mill was established in 1997, initially as a family business. After years of operation, customers know the brand and begin to trust our products. I have seen opportunities to expand this business, especially on technologies such as the purchase of additional rice mills and the expansion of the location of the mill.

I was introduced by ABA Bank staff about the loan guaranteed by CGCC which can provide me additional capital even without collateral. Thanks to the credit guarantee from CGCC, I was able to get more capital to expand my rice mill business.

I strongly believe that the CGCC’s credit guarantee really support my business, as well as other potential SMEs that lack collateral to get necessary capital from banks or microfinance institutions for their business expansion.

Read more: Meet the Business Owner Who Received a Loan Guaranteed by CGCC

Understanding Credit Guarantee-Interview with Participating Financial Institution (Acleda Bank)

Read and Download in PDF: Interview with Participating Financial Institution (ACLEDA Bank)


1. What is ACLEDA Bank’s perspective towards the credit guarantee schemes and why does your bank partner with CGCC?

Credit guarantee schemes of Credit Guarantee Corporation of Cambodia “CGCC” are good and essential schemes contributing to the development of the country’s national economy by providing credit guarantees to Small-sized and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), and Large Enterprises which are financially viable but with insufficient or no collateral to enable them to get official loans from ACLEDA Bank as well as other PFIs. Through the credit guarantee from CGCC, the Bank could expand credit market, promote financial inclusion and manage credit risks effectively.

ACLEDA Bank has joined and become one of the participating financial institutions (PFIs) for the following main reasons:

  • Participate with the Royal Government’s initiatives and schemes to support the country’s socio-economic development.
  • Support and encourage SMEs and Large Firms to obtain formal loans from the licensed financial institutions for both working capital and business expansion.
  • Contribute to creating employment opportunities for people through the growth of businesses obtaining the formal loans under CGCC’s credit guarantee.


2. How do the credit guarantee schemes benefit ACLEDA Bank and your customers?

The credit guarantee schemes offer many benefits to both ACLEDA Bank and the customers as follows:

  • For ACLEDA Bank:
    • Diversify the credit products in line with the Bank’s strategic plan.
    • Manage credit risks effectively.
    • Maintain the existing customers and attract new potential ones.
  • For the customers:

    • Offer choices to the customers and be able to get formal loans for the expansion of their business activities.
    • Improve their living conditions through the growth of businesses.
    • Have a chance to create employment opportunities for their communities and promote innovation in their products and services.

3. So far, which type of loans does ACLEDA Bank use the credit guarantees to support SMEs?

So far, ACLEDA Bank uses the credit guarantees to provide business loans, revolving facility, and overdraft facility to our customers as SMEs and Large Enterprises in both priority and non-priority sectors to meet their business needs.


4. How should the borrowers prepare themselves to get guaranteed loans from ACLEDA Bank?

To obtain the guaranteed loans from ACLEDA Bank, the borrowers both individuals and legal entities shall meet the following criteria:

  • Business activities operate in Cambodia and majority Cambodian-owned businesses (shareholding of more than 50%)
  • Business registration issued by the appropriate government authorities
  • Financially viable businesses and accurate financial statements
  • Have owner equity and specific business plan
  • Loan utilization in accordance with the purposes as mentioned in the credit proposal
  • Willingness to comply with the loan obligations etc.


5. What is the ACLEDA Bank’s strategy/plan to further expand the disbursement of guaranteed loans in 2024?

ACLEDA Bank still continues to stimulate the disbursement of guaranteed loans in 2024 through promoting credit guarantees to both existing and new customers who need financing as well as  providing the trainings and refresher courses on the knowledge of credit guarantees to all the credit-related staffs of all branches nationwide, providing technical support for credit guarantees, especially having a good collaboration with CGCC to support and enhance the growth of guaranteed loans in a sustainable manner.


Understanding Non-Performing Loan

Never before in the last fifteen years has the banking sector in Cambodia experienced a high non-performance loan (NPL) ratio. At the end of 2023, the NPL ratio stood at 5.4% and 6.5% in the banking and microfinance sectors, respectively, compared to an average NPL ratio of 2.18% between 2009 and 2022 (Chart 1). At the same time, as of February 2024, 133 of 2,070 accounts guaranteed by CGCC have become NPL, amounting to USD 9.76 million. The percentage of cumulative non-performing guaranteed amount over the guaranteed amount is 8.02%. Despite the challenging environment, NPL is manageable, and Cambodia’s banking sector remains resilient. Understanding NPL is critical to mitigating adverse impacts on borrowers, lenders, and the economy.

What is a Non-Performing Loan?

A non-performing loan occurs when the borrowers cannot fulfill their repayment obligations due to financial difficulty, i.e, late payments of more than 30 days for short-term loans, or more than 89 days for long-term loans. The criteria for classifying loan status are different from country to country. In Cambodia, the NBC classifies loans into five categories based on the number of days past due, as shown in Table 1 below. Loans under Normal and Special Mention are performing, while loans that fall under the Substandard or worse are considered non-performing.

Read more: Understanding Non-Performing Loan

Understanding CGCC’s Bond Guarantee

In April 2022, the Ministry of Economy and Finance provided a policy direction to CGCC to diversify our guarantee service to bond guarantees. CGCC was then accredited by the Securities and Exchange Regulator of Cambodia (SERC) in August 2023 as a local bond guarantor and completed its rating procedure, and was rated “khAAA” with a Stable Outlook, the highest rating on a local scale by the Rating Agency of Cambodia. With all these set, CGCC will embark on a new journey to provide guarantees on bond issuance to support Cambodia’s capital market and the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) looking to enter the bond market for their sources of funding.

What is a bond?

A bond is a debt instrument, one of the alternatives to a bank loan. The bond issuer is a borrower, and the bond investor is a lender. Bond investors buy bonds from the issuer, who promises to pay interest (coupons) and bond principal during the bond maturity. Compared to a bank loan, a bond gives more flexibility in terms of structure, size, maturity, and interest payment. While just about any SME and individual can raise funds with bank loans as long as they can prove their repayment capacity, raising funds with bonds requires the issuer to be a more well-established and matured SME that can demonstrate good governance and business operation, reliable financial records, concrete future business plan and so on. In short, compared to bank loans, the requirements to issue bonds are stricter and more extensive. The table below gives a brief general comparison between a bank loan and a bond.

Indeed, issuing bonds is a common way for Governments and businesses to raise capital in many developed countries to finance their projects. It is not yet so much so in Cambodia. The bond market in Cambodia is still in the developing stage, facing challenges such as low liquidity, high-interest rates, and a low investor base. However, we have seen positive breakthroughs in recent years, especially in the issuance of government bonds, guaranteed bonds, and sustainable bonds. Currently, there are 9 listed corporate bond on the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) raising funds between 1.5 to 30 million USD equivalent per issuance.

Read more: Understanding CGCC’s Bond Guarantee

Meet the Business Owner Who Received a Loan Guaranteed by CGCC

Solar Green Energy (SOGE), established in 2008, is a company providing green energy solutions using solar energy to irrigate the crops of Cambodian farmers. Shortly after the establishment, customers began to recognize SOGE and trust our services. I saw the opportunity to expand our business. We have the technology but lack human resources and capital.

I consulted with some banks and microfinance institutions to get additional capital. Because I  didn’t have enough  collateral for the loans, J Trust Royal Bank introduced me CGCC’s credit guarantee service which can guarantee my loan so that the bank can lend me without requiring my collateral. With the credit guarantee, I could get additional capital to build new pumping stations.

SOGE used the loans guaranteed by CGCC to expand the construction of pumping stations in some provinces such as Pursat, Kampong Cham, Kampong Chhnang and Kampong Thom. The stations can irrigate about 1,600 hectares and benefit about 1,000 families.

I think that CGCC’s credit guarantees can really support my business as well as other potential SMEs that lack collateral to get necessary capital from banks or microfinance institutions for their business expansion.

Read more: Meet the Business Owner Who Received a Loan Guaranteed by CGCC

The Business Owner Who Received a Loan Guaranteed by CGCC

Agriculture is one of the key sectors in supporting Cambodia’s economic growth. Seeing the potential to promote Cambodian products and support Cambodian farmers, I decided to start a Cambodia Safety Vegetable Union of Agricultural Cooperative in 2021.

When starting this business, my main challenge was the lack of human resources to prepare documents and handle administrative work since most of the community union members were farmers. Another major challenge was the lack of working capital to expand the business and product exports. The solution for me was a loan from a financial institution.

At first, because my collateral was not enough for the loan, I could not obtain the necessary loans to support my business. However, later with a guarantee from CGCC, I was able to receive a sufficient business loan from Chamroeun Microfinance Institution. I used the guaranteed loan as a working capital, which allowed me to grow my Cambodia Safety Vegetable business to serve my customers and distributors in many provinces and cities on time. I also gained the trust of various development partners on my business.

Obtaining a guaranteed loan from CGCC depends on the potential of my business, namely the possibility of growth, building a good credit history, as well as completing the required documents that can confirm the need to use a loan for my business. Other business owners who need capital but lack collateral can also seek credit guarantees from CGCC through CGCC partner banks or microfinance institutions.

Read more: Meet the Business Owner Who Received a Loan Guaranteed by CGCC

Understanding GMS of CGCC

A business cannot grow to its full potential without technology. CGCC is not an exception. “Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anyone can talk meaningfully about one without talking about the other”, said Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft. Since the first day of its operation, CGCC has embraced information technology, starting with the basic functions of Excel spreadsheets and Microsoft SharePoint to manage credit guarantee operations. Today, CGCC hit a new milestone by launching the Guarantee Management System (GMS) to further leverage information technology for effective credit guarantee operation. Technology adoption is our commitment to play a small part in supporting the key priorities – People, Road, Water, Electricity, and Technology – of the “Pentagonal Strategy – Phase I” of the new Royal Government of Cambodia.

What is GMS?

GMS is a digital platform that automates and streamlines the credit guarantee process, making it more convenient, faster, and more secure. It is the first-ever and only digital platform to manage a credit guarantee operation in Cambodia, tailored explicitly to CGCC’s credit guarantee model. It is a web-based system developed using microservices architecture and modern technologies to improve the guarantee process’s efficiency, accuracy, and security.

How was GMS developed?

. End-to-end automation: The GMS automates the guarantee application process, from PFI’s submission to CGCC’s approval. Furthermore, auto validation of CGCC’s scheme features is integrated to reduce error and time consumption when composing and reviewing the guarantee application.

. Real-time tracking: The GMS provides real-time monitoring of the status of all guarantee applications, allowing users to stay updated on the progress of each application and request.

. Comprehensive reporting: The GMS provides comprehensive reporting on all credit guarantee activities, allowing users to track the performance of guaranteed loans and identify areas for improvement.

. High security: The GMS is hosted on a secure platform and uses the latest security technologies to protect user data.

Read more: Understanding GMS of CGCC

Meet the Business Owner Who Received a Loan Guaranteed by CGCC

Seeing that the financial awareness of Cambodian people is still limited, and their use and management of finances are not very effective, my husband and I started this company RithyPul in 2012 to spread the knowledge and share financial advice. Until 2020, our business was affected by the COVID-19, however we can still get through it until today. The most difficult factor at that time was the lack of working capital to support day-to-day business operations. At that time, we used our property as collateral to apply for a loan, but we still could not get enough capital as needed. The best solution at that time was to have a CGCC’s Participating Financial Institution, CAMMA Microfinance, advising us to apply for a CGCC guaranteed loan for our business, which would allow us to obtain a loan without collateral to use as working capital.

After obtaining guaranteed loans from Participating Financial Institution of CGGC, we are also able to address several key issues such as marketing, advertising, and overall business operation costs. We have expanded our business with more staff, and customers becoming more aware and acquainted with the use of our services has increased steadily. On the other hand, we also have more time to think about new strategies without having to worry about capital issues.

The success of a business depends on many factors, including having enough working capital, that is the most important factor for every business. We would like to thank the Government for establishing CGCC to support our business and other MSMEs on access to finance, as well as to improve financial inclusion in the country.

Read and Download in PDF: Mrs. Bopha Pen, Executive Director Rithipul Training Center

Understanding Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard

Adverse selection and moral hazard are the problems arising from information asymmetry that can lead to market failure. Information asymmetry occurs when parties of a transaction do not have equal relevant information to execute a fair transaction. For instance, when buying a second-hand car, the buyer does not know its defects as much as the owner does. The owner would know an underlying price for his car, while the buyer may not have equal information to negotiate down to a fair price that best matches the car’s true value. In this case, the information asymmetry can lead to second-hand car market failure by preventing the buying-selling transaction from happening because the buyer believes whatever price the seller agrees to sell would be more advantageous to the seller. Information asymmetry is the term coined by Nobel Prize winner economist George Akerlof in 1970.

Information asymmetry can be observed in different types of transaction. In bank loans, borrowers generally know better about their own repayment capacity than the bank from which they seek the loans, making it difficult for the banks to determine a fair price (i.e., interest rate) that best suits the borrower’s creditworthiness. In a credit guarantee, information asymmetry is when a lending institution that seeks guarantees on loans has more information about the loans and the borrowers than the credit guarantor. Information asymmetry can lead to two problems – adverse selection and moral hazard.

When there is an information asymmetry, the banks might be unable to distinguish between bad and good borrowers. Facing this risk, the banks may set an interest rate that is too high for good borrowers. Good borrowers will then leave the market; only bad borrowers remain to seek loans. This is called adverse selection. As such, one way to increase credit market efficiency is to narrow the information gap between lenders and borrowers. That is why banks usually require as much information as possible from the borrowers before lending to reduce the risk of adverse selection. Adequate, reliable, and timely information about the borrowers would help the banks to narrow information gaps and offer fair loan conditions that can make both parties better off. Similarly, an adverse selection in credit guarantee is the risk that the lending institution, having better information about the borrowers and loans, only selects the bad loans for guarantees from a credit guarantee institution.

Read more: Understanding Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard 

Meet the Pig Farm Business Owner Who Received a Credit Guarantee from CGCC to Support His Business

Read and Download in PDF: Mr. Sok Nalen, owner of a pig farm using a large-scale biogas plant Kampong Chhnang province

In 2014, I started this pig farm business. Initially, this farm was a farm raising piglets, but in 2019 this it was transformed into a bigger farm supplying meat.

When starting this business, I faced two main challenges: technical and financial challenges. Technology changes rapidly from one year to another requiring businesses to have enough capital to keep up with it. Based on the technical standard, my farm must have a biogas plant to protect the surrounding environment by reducing emission of toxic fumes and odors. The biogas plant can also recycle waste and other residuals. Fortunately,​​ Biogas Technology and Information Center (BTIC) provided technical support to me to restore and set up a biogas plant for my farm. However, I need more capital. With the cooperation with CGCC, BTIC introduced me to a way to access non-collateralized loans with credit guarantees. With CGCC’s guarantee, I could get a business loan from Canadia Bank as requested on time without collateral. The guaranteed loan served as my working capital, which allowed me to continue building a new biogas plant to support my pig farm.

Obtaining guaranteed loans depends on the potential of my business, namely the possibility of growth, a good credit history, and the required documents that prove the need for the loan for my business. Other business owners who require additional capital, but no collateral can also seek for credit guarantee from CGCC through CGCC’s PFIs.