Press Releases

IFC, Union Bank of Colombo Boost Trade Opportunities for Sri Lankan Businesses

In New Delhi:
Minakshi Seth
Phone: +91 11 4111 1000

In Colombo:
Lisa Dadlani
Phone: +94 11 4740957

Colombo, Sri Lanka, March 29, 2011—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will provide a $5 million trade-finance facility to Sri Lanka’s Union Bank of Colombo Limited to help boost international trade opportunities for the bank and its small-business and corporate-sector clients.

The trade-finance facility will provide the Union Bank of Colombo with risk coverage and access to a global network that will support growth of the bank’s trade-finance business.  The network will facilitate transactions in challenging markets and enable Union Bank to build relationships with new institutions that will reduce risk and provide trade opportunities for small and medium enterprises.

“IFC’s support is very timely as Union Bank embarks on a new strategy to become the preferred banker for small and medium enterprises,” said Anil Amarasuriya, Director and CEO of Union Bank of Colombo Limited.  “The facility will help us better support smaller businesses by offering trade-finance products.”

This investment adds to IFC’s list of banks in Sri Lanka that are supported under IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program.

“IFC’s support to Union Bank of Colombo fits well with our strategy to partner with banks and financial institutions that are committed to developing Sri Lanka’s small and medium enterprises,” said Rachel F Robbins, IFC Vice President and General Counsel.  “The facility will help strengthen the bank’s capacity to support trade finance and provide access to over 80 emerging-market countries.”

IFC launched its Global Trade Finance Program in 2005 to help increase global trade in developing countries and promote flows of goods and services among these nations.  The program now has a network of more than 300 participating banks worldwide.  In fiscal 2010, IFC issued $3.46 billion in guarantees through the program to support trade with emerging markets.  Learn more at

To learn more about IFC’s activities in South Asia, visit

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit