Karachi, March 13, 2007—IFC,
the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, recently signed an advisory
services agreement with Tameer Microfinance Bank to help the institution
expand its outreach and provide greater access to finance in Pakistan.
IFC also disbursed a $3.7 million long-term loan to the bank in December
2006 to support its rapid growth in lending. The project will be managed
by IFC’s advisory services facility for the region, the Private Enterprise
Partnership for the Middle East and North Africa.
Advisory services are part of a broader
IFC program to help Tameer Bank launch innovative microfinance solutions
and find commercially viable ways to reach its growing client base. The
project will assess the demand for branchless banking in Pakistan and related
technology development, develop new products for rural areas, and provide
training to its growing middle management.
Michael Essex, IFC’s Director for the Middle East and North Africa, commented,
“We are pleased to support Tameer’s efforts to ramp up its services to
microentrepreneurs in Pakistan. IFC’s support is designed to help Tameer
achieve outreach and scale, as well as meet the large demand gap, estimated
to be at least 7 million households, for finance from small-scale entrepreneurs.”
Nadeem Hussain, President and CEO of Tameer Microfinance Bank, said, “We
value our ongoing collaboration with IFC a provider of equity, debt, and
advisory services. We would like to underscore that a commercial approach
to microfinance is critical to maximizing outreach and effectively supporting
the entrepreneurial activities of Pakistan’s underserved population. We
look forward to a long-term and broad based partnership with IFC.”
About Tameer Microfinance Bank
Tameer is a private sector-led microfinance
bank whose vision is to emerge as a global benchmark for commercial microfinance.
It provides basic financial services and flexible loan products—including
deposits, local remittances, and life insurance—to low-income entrepreneurs
and salaried individuals, many of whom are women with little to no access
to finance through mainstream commercial banks. Tameer’s services, which
include individual lending and savings products, are designed to help its
clients improve their incomes and businesses and move out of poverty. As
of February 2007, the bank had some 28,000 active clients and had disbursed
over $15 million to low-income entrepreneurs in Pakistan.
IFC, the private sector arm of the World
Bank Group, promotes open and competitive markets in developing countries.
IFC supports sustainable private sector companies and other partners
in generating productive jobs and delivering basic services, so that people
have opportunities to escape poverty and improve their lives. Through FY06,
IFC Financial Products has committed more than $56 billion in funding for
private sector investments and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications
for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC Advisory Services
and donor partners have provided more than $1 billion in program support
to build small enterprises, to accelerate private participation in infrastructure,
to improve the business enabling environment, to increase access to finance,
and to strengthen environmental and social sustainability. For more information,
please visit www.ifc.org.
About IFC PEP-MENA
IFC PEP-MENA is a multidonor facility
for advisory services that supports private sector development across the
Middle East and North Africa. IFC PEP-MENA focuses on improving the business
enabling environment, strengthening financial markets, supporting SME development,
and promoting privatization and public-private partnerships. From its inception
through FY06, IFC PEP-MENA has committed more than $20 million in advisory
projects. Its activities are funded jointly by IFC and the following donors:
Canada, France, the Islamic Development Bank, Japan, Kuwait, the Netherlands,
the United Kingdom, and the United States.