Friday, March 17, 2017

Czech firm invests in Bicol

NAGA CITY, March 17 (PNA)-- One of the biggest Czech companies engaged in giving credit to people “underserved by traditional banks” is establishing branches in Bicol cities that include Naga, Legazpi and Iriga, according to Czech Ambassador to the Philippines Jaroslav Olsǎ.

He announced during a visit to this city that Czech company Home Credit has opened in Naga City to serve customers who are not usually served by commercial banks.

“They (Home Credit) opened in Naga City in November last year. It is a company that’s giving small credit to the people who can’t receive credit from the banks,” Olsǎ said.

He said the Czech company, which has already employed about 5,000 Filipinos all over the Philippines, opened in Legazpi City last February and will later establish a branch in Iriga City.

Home Credit’s website claims the company focuses “on responsible lending to people with little or no credit history, who may be undeserved by traditional banks.”

It further claimed that for 2016, it has given 114,309,976 loans worldwide and continues to develop new operations in Indonesia, the Philippines and India.

It considers the three Asian countries as representing “significant growth opportunities for the future.”

In the Philippines, Home Credit said it was able to expand operations from 13 to 21 provinces in 2016.

“In Indonesia, Home Credit is on track to hit the one million customer mark by 2017. India has seen an acceleration in new loans rising almost 178.0 percent year-on-year while in the Philippines it increased to 433.8 percent and Indonesia 251.0 percent,” the company added.

“In India, Home Credit has continued to expand its footprint and is now present in nearly 70 cities in 14 states, servicing customers in 11 languages though almost 6,000 point of sales,”it added in its website.

It said that in 2016, Home Credit further expanded its operations in most established markets in China and Vietnam.

“In both countries, Home Credit has become a major contributor to the local consumption-driven economy, employing 64,000 in China alone,” the website declared.

China remains Home Credit's biggest market with over 141,000 retail outlets at the end of 2016, while also being an important partner for major manufacturers seeking access to a wider customer base.

“Home Credit issued EUR 6.7 billion in new loans in China in 2016, a 150 percent increase compared to 2015 while in Vietnam the EUR 786.6 million in new loans represent a ‘year-on-year’ increase of 95 percent,” said the Czech firm. (PNA) FPV/GVR/JEJR/CBD