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IFC Partners with Himalayan Bank to Enhance Trade Finance in Nepal


In New Delhi:
Minakshi Seth

Phone: +91 11 4111 1000

E-mail:
mseth@ifc.org


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 local enterprises.

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 relationships.”


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.

About IFC

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.