Norfund, the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries, has decided to invest $30 million to Vietnam-based Southeast Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SeABank) in form of a convertible loan.

SeABank said in a statement on Wednesday that the loan can be converted into common shares of SeABank within four-year term, aiming at providing additional capital to support retail banking customers, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and micro-enterprises in Vietnam.

“The partnership shares our joint purpose of impacting Vietnamese economy growth in general, while enhancing financial access for SeABank’s SMEs and retail banking customers in particular,

“The loan also supports the bank’s sustainable development strategy to the utmost in the upcoming period,” said Le Thu Thuy, Vice Chairwoman of the bord of directors (BOD), SeABank.

According to the statement, the cooperation aims to provide SMEs with additional financial sources to fulfill their long-term capital demands.

The bank also has additional capital for retail lending, considering the increasing financial needs of this group.

“Financial inclusion is Norfund’s core mandate and is aligned with SeABank’s strong commitment to finance and support retail banking customers and SMEs in Vietnam,

“The partnership will look to be a catalyst to help uplift the unbanked and underbanked in the country,” said Fay Chetnakarnkul, Regional Director (Asia) of Norfund.

According to the statement, Norfund’s investment has demonstrated the increasing trust, affirming SeABank’s reputation, operational efficiency, and capital utilization efficiency.

This also helps SeABank’s corporate customers improve capacity and promote key business areas effectively.

Norfund is an investment fund owned and funded by Norwegian Government that works to create jobs and improve lives by investing in businesses in developing countries that drive sustainable development.

The firm is fully funded by the Norwegian International Development Assistance budget – Government’s most important tool for strengthening the private sector in developing countries and for reducing poverty.

Previously, SeABank has continuously received foreign investments totaling nearly $600 million from prestigious institutions like International Finance Corporation (IFC), DFC, etc.

These aim to accelerate the Bank’s sustainable development strategies focusing on: SMEs financial access improvements, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices application, and climate change mitigation.

International funding, together with available capacity, has enabled SeABank to deliver flexible financial solutions and strongly support SMEs, especially women-owned SMEs, in capital use optimization.

Besides, SeABank prioritizes disbursements for green credit and climate change mitigation projects as well as green mortgages for individual customers buying houses with green-building certificates, thereby posing positive impacts on the socio-economy and environment.

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