IFC announces $150 million loan to Habib Bank

11:20 AM | 21 May, 2015
IFC announces $150 million loan to Habib Bank
WASHINGTON (APP) - International Finance Commission, a member of the World Bank, on Wednesday announced a loan of up to $150 million to Pakistan's Habib Bank Ltd (HBL) to support its domestic and international growth.

IFC also announced an equity investment of $75 million to HBL which in addition to its growth will boost financial inclusion, especially for women and rural communities, and strengthen the country's private sector, said a press release.

IFC's investment is expected to help HBL launch programs to increase the number of women depositors and lending to agricultural and rural borrowers. HBL is Pakistan's biggest commercial bank.

"We partner with banks like HBL because they have the scale, outreach, and depth to transform financial inclusion and private sector development - the two pillars of our strategy in Pakistan," said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

"Scaling up financial inclusion is also a strategic priority for the World Bank Group to achieve universal financial access by 2020." "Our strong market presence enables us to be a key player in promoting financial inclusion and reaching out to critically underserved segments in Pakistan," said Nauman Dar, HBL's President and CEO.

"IFC's engagement will support our growth in rural and agricultural financing, in reaching out to women depositors and women-run businesses, and help us deepen our business internationally."

Pakistan represents IFC's second-largest exposure in the MENA region, with over $5.6 billion in cumulative investments committed to date.

IFC's current investment exposure in Pakistan is about $1.1 billion in over 45 companies in sectors including infrastructure (energy, ports, and transport), financial markets, and general manufacturing and services.