The FINANCIAL — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is extending a $50-million financing facility to Sri Lanka’s Nations Trust Bank PLC. The funds will enable the bank to expand its lending in the Small and Medium Enterprise segment across the country.
This will boost access to finance for SMEs, helping to create jobs and increasing overall economic growth in the country.
The long-term nature of the facility will further improve the bank’s liquidity profile, according to IFC.
“In a country where SMEs contribute more than half of the country’s GDP, our partnership with IFC will help SMEs in Sri Lanka grow,” said Renuka Fernando, Chief Executive Officer, Nations Trust Bank PLC. “The IFC loan brings the required long-term financing for the Nations Trust Bank to grow significantly in this segment.
Despite being a key driver of economic growth in Sri Lanka, a large number of SMEs still lack access to adequate financial services. IFC supports Sri Lankan financial institutions that have widespread distribution channels, helping them reach underserved segments and widen their access to credit, savings and other financial products.
“We are proud to partner with Nations Trust Bank as they expand their portfolio and network to provide small businesses with better access to a range of financial services,” said Amena Arif, IFC Country Manager for Sri Lanka and Maldives. “In addition to narrowing the SME-financing gap, this partnership fits well within IFC’s strategy in Sri Lanka to boost financial inclusion across the country.”
IFC’s committed portfolio in Sri Lanka covers projects across a range of sectors, including infrastructure, tourism, renewable energy, finance, and healthcare. IFC also provides advisory services to promote sustainable growth among SMEs by facilitating access to finance and by offering capacity-building and training opportunities.