HNB Grameen Finance, the microfinance arm of Sri Lanka’s second biggest private lender, Hatton National Bank PLC (HNB), has entered into an equity partnership with Developing World Markets (DWM), a leading emerging markets investment firm.
According to an HNB Grameen media statement, DWM has purchased 7.93 percent shares of HNB Grameen for an undisclosed amount.
The company statement said the partnership was formed after DWM recognized the strengths of HNB Grameen as a frontier financial institution in Sri Lanka with positive historical growth rates and strong shareholder support.
Apart from HNB, HNB Grameen is backed by Prime Lands, the market leader in the real estate sector in Sri Lanka.
Acuity Partners, a joint venture between DFCC Bank and HNB, had functioned as the financial advisor and arranger of the transaction.
DWM is an emerging and frontier markets-focused, impact investment firm. DWM seeks investments that provide risk-appropriate returns and measurable social or environmental benefits.
Since its founding in 1994, DWM has structured and invested over US $1.5 billion into more than 170 companies across more than 50 developing countries.
The firm is headquartered in the USA and has specialist teams in private equity, debt, risk, fund administration, legal and compliance. It has contributed 21 percent of its global investments to the growth of socially impactful enterprises in South Asia and Southeast Asia.
These enterprises encompass diverse sectors such as agriculture, education, financial inclusion, renewable energy and women’s empowerment.
“The partnership will be a crucial driver to further diversify HNB Grameen to be a leading financial institution in the country. We are certain this will further support the growth of our local SMEs as socially impactful enterprises, who can make a significant contribution to the national economy,” HNB Grameen Finance MD/CEO Chaminda Prabhath was quoted as saying in the statement. Commenting on the transaction, HNB Grameen Finance Chairman Jonathan Alles said, “HNB has worked closely with DWM for almost a decade on various transactions and is extremely happy to have them as a shareholder of HNB Grameen.
DWM, with its wide experience in the microfinance industry across different countries in Asia as well as other parts of the world, will no doubt add significant value in further enhancing the business model of HNB Grameen.”