Kathmandu, Nepal, June 2, 2009—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, announced that Nepal’s Himalayan Bank
is joining the IFC Global Trade Finance Program and receiving a facility
of up to $3 million that will enable the bank to enhance its support for
IFC’s trade finance program, which paves the way for countries like Nepal
to increase their share of global trade, will provide Himalayan Bank with
risk coverage in a difficult market and access to a global network
that will help grow its trade finance business. The network facilitates
transactions in challenging markets, promotes competitive financing, and
builds correspondent bank relationships with new institutions at low risk.
This is IFC’s third trade finance deal in Nepal.
“We are delighted to strengthen our partnership with IFC by joining its
Global Trade Finance Program,” said Ashoke SJB Rana, Chief Executive Officer
of Himalayan Bank. “Access to the network will increase our trade finance
opportunities globally and help customers of Himalayan Bank obtain easy
and cost-effective international finance services.”
Per Kjellerhaug, IFC Regional Manager for Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives,
Nepal, and Sri Lanka, said: “IFC’s support to the bank aligns with our
strategy to encourage local partners committed to developing Nepal’s corporate
and small and medium enterprise sector. The facility will open doors for
trade with neighboring countries and where the bank has no trade finance
IFC has had a strong relationship with Himalayan Bank Limited since 2006.
IFC recently helped introduce value-added advisory services for Himalayan
Bank’s small and medium enterprises business.
After the global economic slowdown, the scarcity of trade financing has
posed a particular economic risk to low- and middle-income countries. IFC,
working with its partners, has sharply increased its trade financing efforts
over the last year.
Since 1975, IFC has committed over $80 million in nine projects in Nepal.
Currently, IFC has an exposure of over $35 million in the country in equity,
debt, and guarantees, with exposure to private infrastructure exceeding
$28 million. In 2008, IFC committed $10 million in new investments. To
learn more about IFC’s activities in South Asia, visit www.ifc.org/southasia.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group creates opportunity for people to
escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic
growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development,
mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation
services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2
billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For
more information, please visit www.ifc.org.
About Himalayan Bank Limited
Incorporated in 1993 in partnership with Pakistan’s Habib Bank, Himalyan
Bank has 21 branches spread across the country. The bank’s traditional
focus has been corporate banking, with a strong franchise in trade finance
and an equal focus on deposit mobilization. One of the largest private
sector banks in Nepal in terms of deposit mobilization, it is also one
of the largest private sector banks in terms of total assets. For more
information, visit http://www.himalayanbank.com.