The FINANCIAL — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has arranged for KMF, one of the leading Kazakh microfinance institutions, a financing package in Kazakh Tenge equivalent to $44 million, helping the company to support its small business customers, including women entrepreneurs.
The financing consists of $5 million loan for IFC’s own account, and $39 million mobilized from four international financiers: Incofin Investment Management, MicroVest Capital Management, Symbiotics, and Bank im Bistum Essen. The financing will be disbursed in Kazakh Tenge, which will help KMF mitigate its foreign currency risk. The support will help KMF provide loans and other forms of credit to smaller businesses, considered key in a country where entrepreneurs often struggle to obtain the financing they need to grow their enterprises, according to IFC.
“In Kazakhstan, the small business sector is growing, and entrepreneurs are in dire need of affordable loans,” said Shalkar Zhussupov, chairman of KMF’s management board. “Funds provided by IFC and the four participating financial institutions will be used to finance entrepreneurs, especially those living in rural areas, where access to bank funding for the public is very limited.”
In Kazakhstan, smaller businesses form the backbone of the country’s economy. But the shortage of credit at the country-level stymies job creation and economic growth.
“By supporting strong microfinance institutions like KMF, we can make financing available to individuals and small enterprises to engage in income-generating activities who would otherwise have limited alternatives, helping to create jobs and spurring economic growth,” says Moazzam Mekan, IFC Regional Manager for Central Asia.
KMF has more than 182 000 borrowers. Since the beginning of 2016, its loan portfolio has grown by more than 48 percent and its customer base has jumped 21 percent.
At the time of increased volatility across the region, IFC helps microfinance organizations build capacity by increasing their retail delivery, shaping markets by scaling up these institutions to improve efficiency, strengthening responsible finance, and stabilizing and diversifying their funding base. This is part of a broader effort by IFC to support economic development in Kazakhstan by unleashing the potential of private enterprises. As of Jun 2016, IFC invested $1.4 billion, including $299 million of mobilized funds in the country, and provided advisory services to help private companies improve corporate governance, risk management, and improve competitiveness.