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IFC Invests in Habib Bank Pakistan to Boost Financial Inclusion, Strengthen Private Sector


In Washington, D.C.:
John McNally
Phone: (202) 458-0723
E-mail: jmcnally@ifc.org

In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa
Phone: +2024614230
E-mail: rmustafa@ifc.org

Islamabad, Pakistan, May 20, 2015—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced a loan of up to $150 million to Pakistan’s Habib Bank Ltd (HBL), as well as an equity investment of $75 million (equivalent in PKR), to support HBL’s domestic and international growth, boost financial inclusion, especially for women and rural communities, and strengthen the country’s private sector.

HBL, Pakistan’s biggest commercial bank, has a footprint across the country that can be leveraged to expand financial inclusion and loan growth. IFC’s investment is expected to help HBL launch programs to increase the number of women depositors and lending to agricultural and rural borrowers.

“Our strong market presence enables us to be a key player in promoting financial inclusion and reaching out to critically underserved segments in Pakistan,” said Nauman Dar, HBL’s President and CEO. “IFC’s engagement will support our growth in rural and agricultural financing, in reaching out to women depositors and women-run businesses, and help us deepen our business internationally.”

Pakistan ranks fifth among financially excluded populations globally, with approximately 101 million people without access to financial services, in addition to high levels of income inequality. A significant number of its small and medium enterprises remain outside formal channels and face challenges accessing financing. Fewer than 7 percent have taken out a bank loan, and at least a third have no banking relationship at all.
 
“We partner with banks like HBL because they have the scale, outreach, and depth to transform financial inclusion and private sector development – the two pillars of our strategy in Pakistan,” said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “Scaling up financial inclusion is also a strategic priority for the World Bank Group to achieve universal financial access by 2020.”

Pakistan represents IFC’s second-largest exposure in the MENA region, with over $5.6 billion in cumulative investments committed to date. IFC’s current investment exposure in Pakistan is about $1.1 billion in over 45 companies in sectors including infrastructure (energy, ports, and transport), financial markets, and general manufacturing and services.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

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