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IFC and State Bank of Pakistan to Build Expertise in Housing Finance


In Karachi:                                
Syed Farhan Fasihuddin                        

Phone: +92 301 8293260        

E-mail:
sfasihuddin@ifc.org        

Akbar Zaman Khan

Phone: +92 301 8294940

E-mail:
akhan12@ifc.org


Karachi, September 18, 2007—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the State Bank of Pakistan, formally launched a housing finance training program in Pakistan last week. The meeting was attended by senior executives from over 30 financial institutions in the country. The training, which aims to improve local expertise in the sector, will be developed by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

The first stage consists of a skills gap analysis. A questionnaire for assessing training needs has been sent to local financial institutions. This month, the project team will meet with representatives from the institutions that provide mortgage services to review their operations.  They will also meet with financial institutions that intend to enter the market in the future.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation will use IFC’s Mortgage Toolkit to develop the training modules, which will be tailored to the Pakistani market and based on the needs assessment and meetings with the financial institutions. The company’s internationally certified trainers will deliver the training to key staff.

“Strengthening the housing market is very important for Pakistan’s economic development.  This training program will improve local expertise in housing finance and help expand the market,” said Deputy Governor, SBP, Mr. Mansur-ur-Rehman Khan.

“The fact that most commercial banks and mortgage-lending financial institutions in Pakistan are represented at the launch underscores the importance of this training program to the local market.  We expect it to help build the capacity of mortgage-lending institutions to increase access to affordable housing finance,” said Farhan Fasihuddin, IFC Program Manager for housing finance in the Middle East and North Africa.


IFC promotes housing finance in Pakistan through its advisory services facility in the Middle East and North Africa – PEP-MENA.  It has developed a comprehensive business plan for the House Building Finance Corporation, the largest and oldest mortgage lender in the country, and is now supporting the company’s restructuring. IFC is also working with the State Bank of Pakistan’s housing advisory group to help simplify the business environment and create a mortgage refinance company that will provide long-term funding at fixed interest rates.


About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that poor people have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through loan participations and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.

About State Bank of Pakistan

The State Bank of Pakistan is the central bank of Pakistan. It performs both traditional and developmental bank functions to achieve macroeconomic goals. Its primary traditional functions include issuing notes, regulating and supervising the financial system, last-resort lending, serving the government, and conducting monetary policy. Secondary functions include managing public debt and foreign exchange, advising the government on policy matters, and maintaining close relationships with international financial institutions. The State Bank’s nontraditional or promotional functions include developing a financial framework, institutionalizing savings and investment, and providing training facilities to bankers and credit to priority sectors. The bank has also been playing an active part in Islamic finance.  For more information, visit
www.sbp.gov.pk.