Cambodia launches US$200mil guarantee scheme to support businesses during pandemic as govt confirms 11th Covid-19 death

A woman has her sample taken for Covid-19 testing in Phnom Penh. - The Phnom Penh Post/ANN

PHNOM PENH, March 29 (Xinhua): State-owned Credit Guarantee Corporation of Cambodia (CGCC) on Monday launched a US$200 million Business Recovery Guarantee Scheme (BRGS), aiming to support businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The BRGS was designed to support businesses including micro, small and medium enterprises, and large firms to enhance their access to formal loans from Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) for working capital, investment, and business expansion, said a CGCC's press statement.

CGCC is the first-ever credit guarantee corporation in Cambodia under the technical and financial guidance of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the statement said, adding that its CGCC's main mission is to provide credit guarantees to PFIs to support and assist financially viable businesses that lack collateral when applying for loans.

It said that the first tranche of the BRGS will contribute to US$200 million increase of new loans in the banking sector for business owners to borrow from the following CGCC's PFIs including ACLEDA Bank, Asia Pacific Development Bank, AMK microfinance institution, Cambodia Post Bank, Canadia Bank, Phillip Bank and Prince Bank.

The scheme will also be available at other banks and microfinance institutions that are in the process of becoming CGCC's PFIs.

CGCC's guarantee will act as collateral or security for 70 per cent to 80 per cent of the loan amount borrowed from the PFIs; thus, reducing the physical collateral required from the borrowers, the statement said.

"The launch of the BRGS by CGCC is timely to support businesses who plan to borrow from the PFIs during this pandemic," Economy and Finance Ministry secretary of state and CGCC's chairman Ros Seilava said in the statement.

"This milestone supports the government's policy to maintain sustainable and inclusive economic growth and in line with the Industrial Development Policy 2015-2025," he added.

Meanwhile, Cambodia confirmed 40 new local COVID-19 cases and one new death on Monday, the country's Ministry of Health (MoH) said in a statement.

Of the new cases, 29 were found in the capital Phnom Penh, six in Koh Kong province and one each in Svay Rieng, Takeo, Siem Reap, Tboung Khmum and Kampot provinces, the statement said.

Since the start of the pandemic in January last year, the South-East Asian country has officially registered a total of 2,273 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with 11 deaths and 1,172 recoveries, it said. The latest was confirmed on Monday (March 29) morning.

The country began a Covid-19 nationwide vaccination drive on Feb 10.

As of Sunday, more than 383,400 people in priority groups had been vaccinated against the virus, a government report showed. - Xinhua
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