Press Releases

IFC Helps Build Pakistan’s Microfinance Sector

In Pakistan
Asif Mustaqim

Phone: (92) 92300-8560053
            (92) 51-9090-656


In Washington, DC

Rita Jupe

Phone: (202) 458-8967


Washington, D.C., December 12, 2005—The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement to buy a 10 percent stake in Tameer, a start-up microfinance bank that will focus on urban areas in Pakistan.

Tameer Microfinance Bank Ltd will make loans of up to PKR 60,000 (approximately US$1,000 equivalent) and bring other basic financial services—including deposits and life insurance—to low income entrepreneurs, many of them women, who otherwise have little opportunity to borrow money from commercial banks. The bank initially aims to attract customers in Pakistan's urban areas. Tameer’s services, which include individual lending and savings products, will help its customers improve their incomes and businesses and move out of poverty.

Tameer will open its first two branches and a service center in December in Karachi, Pakistan’s commercial capital. IFC’s investment is worth PKR 60 million (US$1 million equivalent).

“IFC is delighted  to be associated with this project, especially as it coincides with the 2005 International Year of Microcredit, which aims to promote inclusive financial systems and broaden the access to finance,” said Jyrki Koskelo, director of IFC’s Global Financial Markets Department.

Michael Essex, IFC’s acting director for the Middle East and North Africa, added, “The project will help boost economic activity of small enterprises at the grass-roots level and create new jobs and opportunities in Pakistan’s private sector.”

Nadeem Hussain, president and chief executive of Tameer Microfinance  Bank  Ltd,  said, “The project will not only provide access to finance for entrepreneurs but will also underscore that a commercial approach to microfinance is critical to maximizing outreach and effectively supporting the entrepreneurial activities of the poor. Tameer looks forward to working with IFC as a shareholder to achieve this objective.”

The International Finance Corporation is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C.  IFC coordinates its activities with the other institutions of the World Bank Group but is legally and financially independent.  Its 178 member countries provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies.

The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing and transition countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY05 was $19.3 billion for its own account and $5.3 billion held for participants in loan syndications. For more information, visit