GL Using Cyprus to Spearhead Expansion into Eastern Europe, Africa & Latin America
28 Feb 2017
SET-listed digital finance firm Group Lease Public Company Limited (GL) has decided to set up an investments and financial services company in Cyprus to spearhead its expansion into Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America.
Cyprus has been chosen as the springboard for GL’s global expansion because of its strategic location; it is a member of the European Union (EU) which is well known for its favorable taxation, legal and financial regimes making it ideal for GL to use as a center to raise funds and expand globally.
The strategic plan on global expansion came after GL has achieved historical-high profits of 1,062.82 million baht in 2016, which represents a whopping 82.34% increase from the year before. GL today (Feb 28) reported its 2016 audited financial statements to the SET, which were exactly the same as the unaudited numbers filed earlier.
“Our record-high profits, low D/E ratio of only one time and healthy balance sheets will help sustain our expansion globally,” GL chairman and chief executive officer Mitsuji Konoshita stated. The new expansion to Latin American is on top of earlier plans to expand to African and Eastern European countries.
Mr. Konoshita disclosed that GL has recently received a US$30 million credit line from one of the biggest banks in Brazil which can be used to support mergers and acquisitions or other financial services in Brazil or other countries in Latin America when the opportunities arise.
The flurry of overseas corporate activities underscore GL’s aggressive strategies to elevate itself into a world-class company after it has successfully expanded from its Thailand base into six other Asian countries namely Singapore, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.
Mr. Konoshita noted that GL has extended short-term investments and advisory services in Cyprus over the past two years on a trial basis before finally deciding to set up the new company there. “Now we are sure that Cyprus is the best place to do financial and investment services and even to raise funds globally to support our operations,” he stated.
Cyprus is a part of the European Union (EU) and the country is well-known as a center for the extension of investments and financial services into Eastern Europe and Africa because of its efficient taxation and legal regimes as well as favorable tax treaties with a lot of countries all over the world.
“We have decided to establish the investment and financial services company in Cyprus to accelerate our expansion into Eastern Europe and Africa as we have been contacted by many companies in those countries for collaboration in finance, leasing and micro finance services,” Mr. Konoshita stated.
He added that the Cyprus company will be set up shortly with an initial capitalization of about US$ 2-3 million.
GLF get into contract with U.S. government agency, OPIC.
14 Feb 2017
~ securing debt facility from WorldBusiness Capital Inc. with a guarantee from OPIC~
“GL Finance PLC (Cambodia) is in the process of securing a $15 million senior debt facility from WorldBusiness Capital Inc(WBC 1). The facility will carry a guarantee from OPIC (*2)– a U.S. government agency based in Washington, DC. The loan application is presently in process and disbursement is expected to be completed towards Q2 of FY2017. All OPIC supported facilities require a US sponsor, and the investment from Creation Investments(*3) in Group Lease (Thailand) will act as a sponsor to this transaction. An OPIC supported facility will open doors for Group Lease to access additional financing in the future from OPIC as well as other Development Financial Institutions across the world.”
The main reasons for this tremendous opportunity are GL business is highly reviewed by OPIC and is recognized as helping development of people’s life and human rights. And also big supports from Creation Investments Capital Management who is a long term investor of Group Lease.
*1 WorldBusiness Capital, Inc. (WBC) is a commercial finance company based in Hartford, Connecticut, USA that offers flexible term loans helping businesses compete in the global marketplace. Founded in 2003, WBC is a direct lender staffed by multilingual professionals with many years of experience in cross-border trade and project finance and a proven track record of successfully closed loans around the world, in a variety of sectors. WBC focuses on lending to businesses in asset-intensive sectors such as manufacturing, distribution, logistics, transportation, agribusiness, food processing, packaging, renewables, equipment leasing, and commercial finance. Borrowers generally have annual revenue in the range of $10 million to $150 million. All borrowers must have some form of “U.S. affiliation”. WBC is an approved guaranteed lending partner of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution.
*2 OPIC mobilizes private capital to help U.S. businesses invest in emerging markets, catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both in the U.S. and abroad. As of September 30, 2016, OPIC’s project portfolio totaled $21.5 billion.” OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds, when commercial funding cannot be obtained elsewhere. Established as an agency of the U.S. Government in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers.
All OPIC projects adhere to high environmental and social standards and respect human rights, including worker’s rights. By mandating high standards, OPIC aims to raise the industry and regional standards in countries where it funds projects. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 160 countries worldwide.
*3 Creation Investments Capital Management is a private equity firm focused on financial services in emerging markets. Base in Chicago, the firm currently manages 15 platform investments in financial institutions across Latin America, South Asia, Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe. Through Creation’s portfolio companies, the firm serves over 7 million unbanked/underbanked individuals and small businesses with needed financial services totaling US $5 billion in loans outstanding. Creation’s investors include leading institutional investors and family offices dedicated to achieving attractive financial returns and social impact.
Creation is GL shareholder for 2 years already of GL and GL new CD(20MUSD) underwriter now.