Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Krungsri readies Bt7 bn for loans to female entrepreneurs

Oct 23. 2019
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By THE NATION

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Poonsit Wongthawatchai, executive vice president of the environmental, social and governance division at Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri), said that the bank is planning to launch tailored loans for female SME owners in Thailand. The announcement comes on the heels of the bank’s success in selling gender bonds to the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which is a member of the World Bank Group and Deutsche Investitions und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (German Investment Corporation or DEG).

“The total loans will be set at the maximum amount of US$220 million or approximately Bt7 billion,” he said. “The reason for this scheme is that we realise female business owners have difficulties accessing financial support compared to their male counterparts.”

“Moreover, our research found that businesses headed by females tend to focus far more on environmental and social impacts, which complements our CSR policies” he added.

Poonsit further explained that the loans will be distributed to the bank’s customers in business banking group, for which the total loan portfolio currently stands at Bt40 billion. “We have around 26,000 customers in this group, and 40 per cent of them are female,” he said. “The loans will be available to individual clients at a maximum of Bt15 million each, and to juristic clients at a maximum of Bt20 million each.”

According to the vice president, Krungsri is the first bank in Thailand and the Asia Pacific region to issue gender bonds and use the profit to finance female entrepreneurs. “Krungsri is focusing on supporting women to conduct socially responsible or environmental friendly businesses, and we are planning to launch more bonds in the future focusing on environment, social activities and sustainable development as part of our environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies,” he added.

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