|| Kashf Foundation and Citibank Announce Pakistan's First Commercial Microfinance Syndication
Landmark Transaction Opens New Fund Raising Avenue for Sector
Lahore – Kashf Foundation and Citi’s Citibank N.A. Pakistan have announced the first tranche of a landmark PKR 1.32 billion (US$ 22 million) term financing package arranged by Citibank. This term funding structure is the first commercial syndication for the microfinance sector in the country.
The first stage of this mandate involves Citibank providing five-year funding, with a risk participation by OPIC (Overseas Private Investment Corporation), to Kashf Foundation for PKR 363 million (US$ 6 million). The next two tranches of the deal, worth PKR 480 million (US$ 8million) each, will be announced soon. Citibank Pakistan will also act as advisor in arranging these term loans.
This financing program acknowledges Kashf’s significant growth plans and its proven business model as one of the leading microfinance institutions in the sector. It also allows Kashf to tap new sources of funding, previously only available from donors or subsidized financing. In addition, this financing will mobilize commercial bank and investor appetite for the microfinance sector.
This is in line with Citi’s global objective to support the commercial development of microfinance, and also meets the Government of Pakistan’s focus on poverty alleviation and development finance objectives.
This first financing agreement was commemorated at a signing ceremony held at Citibank‘s Lahore offices in the presence of Kashf Foundation President Roshaneh Zafar, CEO Sadaffe Abid and CFO Khalid Kabeer while Citibank representation was through their global microfinance head, Robert Annibale, and Amena Arif, head of the commercial banking group for Citibank in Pakistan.
Speaking at the occasion, Roshaneh Zafar said: “Citi has played a significant role in the development of the local micro-finance sector and this deal will go a long way in opening avenues for micro-finance sector to tap commercial funds. We are extremely grateful for their support and look forward to having a long and prosperous alliance with them, especially in terms of a scaling up to provide financial services to a large number of poor households and in continuing to play a pioneering role in the microfinance sector.”
Robert Annibale, who leads Citi’s efforts related to microfinance, said: “Structuring term financing from the financial markets and diversifying investors is a key objective for Kashf and Citibank. Pakistan has established one of the most conducive regulatory environments for microfinance institutions, which is demonstrated by Kashf’s impressive growth.”
Citi, the leading global financial services company has some 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 100 countries, providing consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, and wealth management. Additional information may be found at www.citi.com
About Kashf Foundation
The Kashf Foundation was set in 1996 to provide microfinance services to the women in rural/sub-urban localities, initially in Punjab and is now expanding its geographical coverage to Sindh as well. Over the last 10 years, KF’s partners have included well recognized entities in the microfinance sector including the Grameen Foundation, DIFD, Acumen, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund and the Grameen Bank. Additional information may be found at www.kashf.org
OPIC was established as an agency of the U.S. government in 1971. It helps U.S. businesses invest overseas, fosters economic development in new and emerging markets, complements the private sector in managing risks associated with foreign direct investment, and supports U.S. foreign policy. Over the agency’s 35-year history, OPIC has supported $164 billion worth of investments that have helped developing countries to generate more than 732,000 host-country jobs and $13 billion in host-government revenues.
For further information, kindly contact:
Aine Imran Shah
Public Affairs Officer
Citigroup, AWT Plaza, I. I. Chundrigar Road
PABX: ++9221 111-999-999 Ext: 2521
Direct: ++9221 2213627
Fax: ++9221 263-8211
Chief Financial Officer
19 Aibak Block New Garden Town Lahore Pakistan
PABX: +92-42-111-981-981 Ext: 112