ADB in $20mn deal with Sri Lanka’s HNB for small businesses loans

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Hatton National Bank (HNB) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) have struck a partnership to expand lending and provide guarantees of up to US$20 million to support small businesses and low- income families.

The two banks signed the new partnership agreement to support development of Sri Lanka’s burgeoning microfinance sector, a statement said.

“Together, HNB and ADB will improve access to financial services to even more low- income families and small-business owners, especially in rural and remote areas in Sri Lanka,” ADB Private Sector Financial Institutions Division Senior Investment Specialist Sabine Spohn said.

Currently, many microfinance institutions struggle to access funds for growth from the commercial market to meet the demands of clients.

Only about 17% of women have access to formal financial services in Sri Lanka.

“Through the Microfinance Program, ADB and HNB aim to fill market gaps by sharing risks to promote local currency lending to these institutions. This helps mitigate microfinance institutions’ exposure to foreign exchange risks,” the statement said.

 “In our experience, access to finance can often be the crucial factor that determines whether a small scale entrepreneur is able to achieve his dream of a thriving business,” said HNB Deputy General Manager – SME & Midmarket Jude Fernando.
(COLOMBO, 01 October, 2018)

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