Vietnamese financial services chain F88 has successfully raised a new credit facility of $50 million from Lending Ark Asia Secured Private Debt Funds (Lending Ark Asia).
The credit facility marks the second cooperative endeavor between F88 and Lending Ark Asia, bringing the total lending between the two to $100 million.
“This additional funding will be employed to fuel F88’s growth strategy,” said Mr. Phung Anh Tuan, Chairman and CEO of F88. “F88 aims to offer standardized, easy, and transparent financial services to unbanked and underbanked borrowers in the Vietnamese market. We are confident that our products and services will continue to enhance the financial capability of our customers, thereby making a positive contribution to the overall development of the Vietnamese economy.”
Lending Ark Asia is a private credit fund that applies a rigorous and comprehensive credit underwriting process on its investments. The company is particularly careful in assessing factors such as market potential, business strategy, risk management capabilities, regulatory compliance, service quality, and social impact. The approval of the additional $50 million loan demonstrates Lending Ark Asia’s confidence in F88’s business prospects and the potential of the underbanked lending market in Vietnam.
F88’s revenue increased 52 per cent year-on-year in the first half of the year. As of June, it had posted growth of 30 per cent in the total number of customers compared to 2022. The customer satisfaction rate (CSAT) was 89 per cent. The Cost-to-Income Ratio (CIR), excluding provisioning and bad debt write-offs, during the first half of 2023 experienced a 16 per cent reduction compared to the same period in 2022.
Another highlight was the consistency in maintaining absolute trust with bondholders, by paying interest and principal on bonds on time. F88 paid VND1.25 trillion ($52 million) in principal on bonds due to investors in the first half of 2023. The debt-to-equity ratio (D/E) was maintained at a safe level of around 1.0 times. These positive indicators were the basis for Fiin Ratings to continue to assign a credit rating of BBB- to F88, even in the current volatile market.
Explaining the lack of profitability in the first half of 2023, Mr. Tuan said it was largely attributed to higher risk costs as the company adopted a more conservative provisioning policy for bad debts than usual. Regarding market potential, based on the positive economic forecasts for the second half of 2023, F88 expects to continue to grow its business steadily and seize opportunities to expand its customer base to accelerate growth.
Lending Ark Asia specializes in approving and managing investments in the personal lending sector across Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. With a total investment value exceeding $1.1 billion, Lending Ark has established itself as a reliable international partner in the financial industry in the region and internationally.