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
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 www.ifc.org.