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ADB approves $20mn loan to increase credit access in Pakistan

ADB approves $20mn loan to increase credit access in Pakistan

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $20 million loan to help Pakistan’s Khushhali Microfinance Bank (KMBL) to expand access to credit for agriculture-related borrowers and small businesses, KMBL announced this on Monday.

"Agriculture and small business are critical sectors in Pakistan’s economy that play a significant role in job creation and poverty reduction," said Christine Engstrom, Director of ADB’s Private Sector Financial Institutions Division.

"ADB’s assistance will help support KMBL’s goal to improve financial inclusion to these sectors through their extensive expertise and outreach to under served populations," the statement quoted Engstrom as saying.

The assistance will help KMBL increase the provision of financial services to micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) from 5,700 today to over 30,000 by 2020, the release added.

Women are expected to comprise up to 25% of loan recipients. A separate technical assistance programme will support the establishment of a MSME training academy as well as investments in Khushhali Microfinance Bank’s ‘technology up gradation’ programme, the statement reads.

"The ADB’s support will deepen the market penetration of KMBL into the rural economy and enhance access to small businesses vital to economic growth and prosperity," says Ghalib Nishtar, President of KMBL.

Access to finance in Pakistan is limited, with only 24% of the adult population having a bank account with a formal financial institution, while MSMEs face difficulty securing financing from the banking sector, said the release.

KMBL has a nationwide presence in Pakistan with a network of 144 branches. At the end of 2016, KBL had over 550,000 active borrowers and managed a gross loan portfolio of over PKR 23 billion.

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