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Myanmar's best bank for SMEs 2020: Aya Bank

Aya Bank

Myanmar’s economy is driven in large part by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Most banks try to target as much SME business as possible, but Ayeyarwady Bank, in particular, is known for its wide penetration and active lending in this sector.

Aya, as the bank is also known, was founded in 2010 by Zaw Zaw – the businessman is its chairman – and in less than a decade has grown to be the second-largest bank in the country by measures including its loan portfolio and number of borrowers, of which SMEs account for 16% and 80%, respectively. As of September 2019, its net loans and advances stood at K2.95 trillion ($2.1 billion).

The bank plans to increase its emphasis on SMEs and consumer banking, increasing its SME loan book to between 25% and 30% of the total. It will do so by working with international organizations and development agencies. Aya Bank has signed its second agreement with the Development Finance Corp (previously the United States Development Credit Agency), the only Myanmar bank chosen for the $20 million seven-year scheme. It also has agreements with Asian Development Bank, French state-backed AFD-Proparco, German Investment Corp (DEG-KfW) and Japan’s JICA for lending to the SME sector.

It is developing offerings including hire-purchase programmes with companies such as automobile and agricultural machinery manufacturers and aims to secure more international partners to help drive its SME-focused strategy.

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