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History

Sathapana Limited was established as a Cambodian non-government organisation (NGO) in 1995, under the name of Cambodia Community Building (CCB), to offer financial and health education services to poor communities. After financial grants were finished in late 1999, CCB adopted a minimalist microfinance approach focusing purely on credit loans and saving services. As a result, the lending operations shifted gradually from predominantly village banking group loans to a mix of solidarity group lending and individual lending. The CCB put forth its efforts to transform into a licenced microfinance institution. The CCB registered at Ministry of Commerce in February 2003 with the new name “Cambodian Entrepreneur Building Limited.” In April 2003, CEB obtained a licence of microfinance institution from the National Bank of Cambodia. The name of company was changed to Sathapana Limited (SPN) with Reachasey, the king of animals as its logo in 2008. Sathapana Limited was the first MFI to obtain deposit taking licence from the National Bank of Cambodia in January 2009. Sathapana Limited is operating on the micro, small and medium loans level, with saving and local money transfers.

 

Highlights of the Evolution:

1995       Cambodia Community Building NGO was established and registered with the Ministry of Interior as a local NGO, and obtained an operating licence in August 1996. The CCB provided financial services and health educational programmers to poor communities.

1998       Community bank model of microfinance services and health educational programmers were offered to women in community banks. Starting in the middle of the year, different products and services were developed and offered to clients, including: solidarity group loans, individual loan products, US dollar currency loans, and the mobile banking model.

1999       Adopted a minimalist microfinance approach by providing purely microfinance services including credit and saving. Reduced the health educational programmers until at the end of 1999 when it was completely eliminated. Fully rolled out the individual lending product, USD loan currency and branch office services.

2000       The CCB managed successfully to transform itself from an NGO type of microfinance provider into a professional MFI operating autonomously from donor funds and assistance by covering costs from its operation without any subsidized funding. Cambodian staff and management successfully led and managed operations to achieve self-financing and sustainability. The CCB was assisted by a total of 83 staffs, operating within three provincial branches plus one district branch serving 5,355 clients and portfolio outstanding reached US$525,704.

2001       Interest rate charged to clients dropped by 50% due to the change in the calculation formula to the declining method. The CCB gained access to commercial loans from the Rural Development Bank. CCB increased its portfolio to US$877,604, serving 3,975 clients and assisted by a total of 91 full time employees.

 2002      Like a diamond in the rough, the transformation had been started, and the strategy transformed the staff’s mindset from NGO thinking to profit oriented thinking. Many training courses were provided to assist the transformation under the support of MPDF and GTZ. By the end of 2002, all transformation documents were completed and submitted to related ministries. The CCB increased its operational areas to three provincial branches plus three district branches, having portfolio outstanding of US$1,431,205 with 5,900 active clients and 93 staffs.

2003       The CEB obtained a licence from the Ministry of Commerce as a private limited company, and obtained a licence from the National Bank of Cambodia as an MFI under the new name of Cambodian Entrepreneur Building Limited (CEB). The CCB NGO owned 81% of total registered capital and SEI (Former CEBEC) owned 19%. Total shares registered were US$372,000. The licence provided CEB with access to international loans from other countries. BlueOrchard and Triodos were the first international creditors to work with CEB. Operational area increased to five provincial branches and three districts, with the total of full time employees being 116 serving 7,020 active clients and portfolio outstanding were US$1,935,337.

 2004      This year ShoreCap International was extremely interested in the impressive output and the impact on poverty reduction of CEB services. Accordingly, they joined in sharing the mission by investing in up to 43% of the total shares of CEB. The new shareholdings at the time were: ShoreCap 43%, CCB NGO 45%, and CEBEC 12%. Total share registered was US$1,158,470. The CEB increased its operations into a total of 14 branches with 135 full time employees, serving 5,760 borrowers with portfolio outstanding of US$3,702,783 and maintaining on time repayment rate at 99.36%.

 2005      The CEB conducted operations in five provinces, operated with 14 branch offices, employed 191 staffs, and served 8,811 total clients. The portfolio outstanding as of December 2005 was US$6.3 million. The remarkable success was that CEB could manage its portfolio quality at a high level, by maintaining PAR after 30 days at 1% for several years to date. The CEB was looking ahead to bring in two more new investors to increase its equity and support its expansion plan.

 2006      Two well-known investors from the Netherlands, FMO and TriodosDoen were interested in an equity position in CEB, and each invested 18.47% of total registered capital. That year, CEB had five shareholders; two were local and three were international. The new shareholders had brought in additional funds as well as diversified skills and experiences to the Board of Directors. Five directors represented a shareholding in CEB, whilst two were independent directors and together created a strong governance structure. Micro Banker for Windows (MBWin), a powerful integrated accounting software was fully running to support the growth of CEB. This new system allowed CEB to extend operations to seven new branches, increased its portfolio by 96% whilst improving the PAR after 30 days from 1% in 2005 to 0.23% in 2006. In addition, CEB received the Financial Transparency Award from CGAP for that year's operation. Portfolio outstandings were US$12.3 million with 15,112 active borrowers and total full time employees were 280 operating in 21 branch offices.

2007       That year was critical in CEB records as many achievements were made throughout the year resulting from the efforts made in 2006 such as a powerful MBWin accounting package, each department functioning very well including Operations, Finance, Administration, Information Technology, Human Resources, Marketing and Internal Audit. This enabled CEB to manage its business very well. Six more provincial branches plus another two district branches were established during the year bringing the total branch operations to 28 and breaking even after six months of starting the operations. Portfolio growth was 82% whilst maintaining an on time repayment of 99.96% and making an impressive return on equity at 31%. Total portfolio outstanding at year end was US$22.4 million with active borrowers of 26,048 served by 465 full time employees. The CEB planed ahead to remain as the leading MFIs for the long run. Board of Directors approved the relocation of the head office to a new building located on Monivong Boulevard which provided a larger space to support growth. The CEB found success in piloting deposit taking and seriously committing to obtain a deposit taking licence in the coming year.

 2008      The microfinance industry grew very quickly leading to strong increases in competition amongst operators; management and staff put their focus on product and service innovation as well as on strengthening the capacity of management to ensure long term success and sustainability. The company decided to change its name to Sathapana Limited having Reachasey, the king of animals as its logo. All branch offices were renovated to build trust and confidence within the community. The company established three new provincial branches plus one district branch made a total of 33 branches served by 653 employees, total clients were 37,159 (grew 55%) with portfolio outstanding of US$37.5 million (grew 67%) whilst maintaining on time repayment rate of 99.91% and achieving a ROE of 38.48%.

2009       Sathapana Limited had obtained the Deposit Taking Licence from the National Bank of Cambodia in January; it's the first MFI achieving this licence together with offering payments via inter branches to facilitate deposit collection. The licence had enabled Sathapana to successfully gain more advantages in attracting public deposit. At the end of the year deposit figure was on the top amongst the sectors. Sathapana had portfolio outstanding of US$39.7million, 36,228 active clients and had established one new district branch making a total of 34 branches served by 747 employees. In April, ShoreCap International decided to leave and transferred its stakes to the new shareholder, Developing World Market (DWM). Throughout the year most of business was impacted by the global financial crisis affecting MFIs industry as well as Sathapana Limited. Management and staff put their best effort forward to challenge all the difficulties in order to assure smooth operations. As a result, Sathapana Limited could manage its growth in portfolio at 6% maintaining portfolio quality PAR > 30 days at 2% whilst making net profit below the planned 10%. However, this performance has been considered excellence amongst the industries.

2010       The global financial crisis had passed, but leaved a significant impact on the country’s economy. However, Sathapana Limited still accomplished a good successful record in the industry. It grew its portfolio at 46% by moving ahead from US$39.69 million in 2009 to US$57.77 million at the end of December 2010, together improved portfolio quality PAR > 30 days from 2.13% in 2009 to 0.93% in 2010. There was remarkable success with the public deposit collections grew at 456% by increasing from US$3 million in 2009 to US$17 million in 2010, which made Sathapana become the leading MFI in the microfinance industry in public deposit collections. During the year the company had invited two more independent directors whose skills are in agriculture and business management to complement to a mixed skill in this governance body and to fulfill the requirement of regulator. A five-year strategic plan 2011-15 was developed and approved by the Board and shareholders giving a clear direction for management to move forward. In addition, FLEXCUBE, a new core banking solution was approved and started to be implemented giving a new strength for the company in the coming year.

 2011      A remarkably successful year. Sathapana Limited continued its journey very successful and created many records as it reflected in outreach expansion reaching to more people in many new areas, increasing portfolio, collecting more deposit and maintaining excellent portfolio quality. As of December 2011, SPN operated through 73 offices (53 branches and 20 POS), covering 17 provinces and major cities, provided loan to 57,001 active clients with portfolio outstanding at US$94.7 million increased by 64% from last year and collecting deposit from 39,660 depositors amounting US$38.8 million increased by 129% whilst improved portfolio quality to maintain PAR > 1 day at 0.22%. The number of employees increased to 1,339. SPN won Chief Security Officer (CSO) Awards from the Association of South East Asia Nations (ASEAN) in December 2011. In addition, SPN had increased its register capital at 200% during the year and decided to adopt new FLEXCUBE Core Banking by Oracle Financial System to support the growth.

2012   Sathapana Limited still continued to make a record in its history as for during the year the company has made an effort to recruit suitable shareholders to support its mission and vision, as result Maruhan Japan Bank, a commercial bank existing in Cambodia became a majority of shareholder of the company, a commercial bank investing in microfinance. As of December 2012, SPN operates through 88 offices (65 branches and 23 POS) covering 22 out of the total 24 provinces, and the capital city. Providing loans to 68,195 existing clients, its portfolio outstanding US$121 million increases by 29% from the previous year. Collecting public deposits from 47,676 depositors with deposits balance US$66.7 million increases by 72% from last year. The number of employees increases to 1,710 showing a 28% growth. The most remarkable success is the portfolio quality management as the company can keep Portfolio at Risk more than 30 days (PAR>30 days) at 0.39%, it reflecting the best quality of loan portfolio management. In addition, the company has gone through the difficult task to complete the implementation of new core banking, Oracle Financial System FLEXCUBE.

2013   This was a great year for business together for Sathapana Limited, the MFI as it would grow enormously within the climate of the political turmoil caused by the disputed results of the National Election of July 28, but the stability soon returned afterwards so that it created business opportunities for Cambodian entrepreneurs to grow their businesses successfully. Sathapana Limited made a remarkable achievement during this year as it would fulfill its first mission to extend microfinance service to all 24 provinces and cities of the Kingdom of Cambodia, through a total of a 111 office networks with a total 2,147 full time employees. Portfolio grew at 50% together maintaining portfolio quality at best as reflecting in PAR 30 days was 0.2% at the end of December 2013. Total portfolio US$181.5 million at the end of December 2013 granted to 78,862 clients. Public deposits known as new products also became very popular as it grow from US$66 million in December 2012 to US$80.5 million by the end of December 2013 led Sathapana be on top of the microfinance market in regards to public deposit collections. This result reflected the strong effort of staff and management in managing its operation so that building trust in the market and increasing company image to a high level. Sathapana is planning to launch the new product of ATM machines in 2014.

2009-2013 performance Indicators:

During the last five year performance, Sathapana Limited had thrived forward through global financial crisis in 2009 leaving little impact in 2010, and it had continued to flourish from 2011 until 2013. Many achievements had been realized along the way as the company would significantly extended its operational networks from 34 offices in 2009 to 111 offices in 2013 covering all 24 provinces and cities in the Kingdom of Cambodia served by 2,147 full-time staffs. Depositors had shown absolute trust in Sathapana Limited as the company had implemented new FLEXCUBE Core Banking in 2010 in addition to the existing powerful integrated accounting software MBWin. In 2013, deposits reached US$80,586,269 which was 21% increase compared to 2012 and 107% increase compared to 2011.  Loan clients; on the other hand, rose quickly from 36,228 in 2009 to 78,862 in 2013 with a total loan outstandings of US$39,686,438 and US$181,589,769, respectively keeping average on time repayment at 99.58%. Portfolio at risk ratio (PAR>30 days) decrease from 0.39% in 2012 to 0.21% in 2013 which was considered to be at a high level. Sathapana Limited had introduced the new ATM product in late 2013 to offer more conveniences for its clients, and will be fully implemented in early 2014. By providing accessible and competitive products to all clients’ needs, Sathapana Limited firmly believes that Cambodians will find more benefits to generate their daily income; hence, to develop Cambodia’s economy as a whole.

 2014    Sathapana Limited continued its remarkable successes in the first semester of 2014. The institution had extended its operational areas to 25 provinces and city in the kingdom of Cambodia. Six branches and nine points of services were newly established and put into operation which made a total of 126 offices in the first semester of 2014. ATM Services, the institution’s new product, were successfully launched and gained popularity among Sathapana’s clients. The institution’s tendency of providing competitive and secure microfinance products and the staffs’ commitment to deliver professional services made Sathapana become the first choice in microfinance market. As a result, Sathapana won The Outstanding Retail MFI Award from international Data Group (IDG). As of the first quarter of 2014, total portfolio reached USD 220 million granted to 89188 clients, whilst deposit balance dramatically increased to USD 115 million with total depositors of 64959. The increases of trust and successes of its clients in late 2013 and early 2014 make Sathapana see the prospective successful opportunities in microfinance market at the end of 2014.

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