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Czech firm invests in Bicol

FRIENDS. Czech Ambassador to the Philippines Jaroslav Olsǎ with a Bicolano friend during his recent visit to Naga City.

By Juan Escandor Jr. NAGA CITY --- One of the biggest Czech companies is presently establishing its branches in Bicol cities that include Naga, Legazpi and Iriga, according to the Czech ambassador to the Philippines. Czech Ambassador Jaroslav Olsǎ announced recently during the visit in this city that Czech company Home Credit has opened in Naga City to serve customers that are not usually served by commercial banks. “They (Home Credit) opened in Naga City in November last year, and it is a company that’s giving small credits to the people who can’t receive credits from the banks,” Olsǎ revealed. He said the Czech company has already employed about 5,000 Filipinos all over the Philippines. Olsǎ said Home Credit has already opened in Legazpi City last February and later in Iriga City. Home Credit’s website claims that it focuses “on responsible lending to people with little or no credit history, who may be undeserved by traditional banks.” It further claimed that for the 2016, it has given 114,309,976 loans worldwide. Home Credit continued the development of more nascent operations in such countries as Indonesia, the Philippines and India. It considers the three Asian countries to “represent significant growth opportunities for the future.” In the Philippines, Home Credit expanded operations from thirteen to twenty-one provinces over the period, the website revealed. “In Indonesia Home Credit is on track to hit the one million customer mark in 2017. India has seen an acceleration in new loans rising almost 178.0% year-on-year while the Philippines increased 433.8% and Indonesia 251.0%.” “In India, Home Credit continued to expand its footprint and is now present in nearly seventy cities in fifteen states, servicing customers in eleven languages though almost six thousand point of sales.” It said that in 2016 Home Credit further expanded its operations in the most established markets in China and Vietnam. “In both countries Home Credit has become a major contributor to the local consumption-driven economy, employing sixty-four thousand people in China alone,” the website declares. China remains Home Credit’s biggest market with over 141 thousand 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% increase compared to 2015. In Vietnam the EUR 786.6 million in new loans represents a year-on-year increase of 95%.”

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