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Mongolia's best bank for SMEs 2017: XacBank


Mongolia’s push to develop a banking sector fit for the 21st century – a process that is being accelerated by a slew of financial reforms – is likely to benefit lenders with a diverse group of shareholders and better transparency and corporate governance.

XacBank, whose chief investors include the IFC and the EBRD, is firmly on this list.

With 1,300 staff working in 86 branches across the country, it is one of Mongolia’s largest and best-run lenders, with a burgeoning digital presence and an expanding priority-banking business.

But it is in the small and medium-sized enterprise space that XacBank really comes into its own. It has spent the last few years searching for new ways to identify and target owners of SMEs, the lifeblood of the frontier economy.

In June 2017, it signed a loan agreement with the IFC and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the development finance arm of the US government, to boost lending to SMEs owned by women and to offer female entrepreneurs better financial and business advisory services.

The Bank of Mongolia estimates that two thirds of all SMEs in the country are owned by women.

XacBank is also working with the Japan International Cooperation Agency to channel small business-development loans of between $10,000 and $40,000 to locally controlled SMEs that aim to turn a healthy profit while also striving to alleviate poverty, promote sustainable development and protect the environment.

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