DEALSTREETASIA.COM: International Finance Corporation (IFC) has proposed to provide a senior loan of up to US $50 million to Sri Lankan mid-sized private commercial bank Nations Trust Bank PLC.
The five-year senior loan will be used by the bank to fund its expansion in the SME lending space, IFC said in a disclosure.
“The financing provided is a fit with the World Bank and IFC strategy of promoting economic growth by providing access to finance to underserved market segments, thereby leading to job creation,” said the World Bank‘s private investment arm.
Nations Trust Bank was established in 1999 with IFC as a shareholder with 15 per cent stake. However, it divested the stake in 2004. Prominent investors in the bank include John Keells Holdings PLC Group and Central Finance Company PLC Group that hold 29.9 percent and 20.0 percent respectively. Other large shareholders include HWIC Asia Fund (Fairfax Group) with a 15 percent stake and Janashakthi Insurance PLC (9.8 percent).
Headquartered in Colombo, Nations Trust Bank currently has 93 branches spread across
It is involved in lending long- and medium-term products for corporates and SME, such as working capital, term loans, project and corporate finance and several short-term products.
Nations Trust Bank has also been a trade finance client of IFC since 2007. “The project provides long-term, US dollar debt funding, not readily available from local or global investors at this time,” said IFC.
“The proposed project may involve advisory support to further develop NTB’s SME lending programme; IFC is uniquely placed to share international best practices and knowledge in this regard,” it added. Since 1956, IFC has invested over US$1 billion in Sri Lanka, and as of June 30, 2016, its committed portfolio stood at over
US $225 million.