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IFC sells stake in Cambodia's commercial bank to Japanese bank

PHNOM PENH, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has sold its 12.25 percent stake in Acleda bank to Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) in an undisclosed amount after having supported Acleda for over 15 years, said an IFC news statement on Monday.

IFC has partnered with Acleda bank since 1999 when the bank was undergoing a transformation from a nongovernmental organization into a microfinance institution, the statement said, adding that as a founding shareholder, IFC has helped the bank grow over the last 15 years into the largest Cambodian bank.

"We highly appreciate our long-term partnership with IFC and its significant support to our growth for more than a decade," said Dr. In Channy, Chief Executive Officer of Acleda bank. "We look forward to continuing our partnership and opportunities for collaboration in the future as our bank grows."

IFC's financing and technical support has helped Acleda expand its financial services to Laos and Myanmar, and IFC is a shareholder in Acleda Microfinance Institution in Myanmar, the statement said.

"We have successfully supported Acleda bank's transition into a commercial microfinance institution and then a full-service commercial bank," said Adel Meer, IFC's financial institutions group manager for East Asia and the Pacific.

"With its financial strength and expertise, we believe SMBC is a strong strategic partner that can support Acleda's continued long-term growth and contribute to Cambodia's economic development and job creation," he said.

Masayuki Shimura, managing director and head of the Asia Pacific division of SMBC, said that SMBC is truly honored to have the opportunity to be a part of Acleda bank. "The investment is aimed to further enhance the existing collaborative relationship between our two banks and to meet the various needs of customers in Cambodia and Asia," he said.

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