ADB and HNB to strengthen microfinance institutions | Sunday Observer

ADB and HNB to strengthen microfinance institutions

At the signing of the agreement: From left -  Credit Analyst (Consultant), ADB, Jeffrey B. Soriano,  Head of Legal, HNB, Niroshini Wettasinha, Senior Manager, Development Banking, HNB, Vishwanath Gunawardena, Senior Investment Specialist, ADB, Sabine Spohn, Deputy General Manager, SME and Midmarket, HNB, Jude Fernando, Associate Investment Officer, ADB, Melissa Jane Y. Escurel and Senior Manager, Microfinance of HNB,  Bandara Rekogama.
At the signing of the agreement: From left - Credit Analyst (Consultant), ADB, Jeffrey B. Soriano, Head of Legal, HNB, Niroshini Wettasinha, Senior Manager, Development Banking, HNB, Vishwanath Gunawardena, Senior Investment Specialist, ADB, Sabine Spohn, Deputy General Manager, SME and Midmarket, HNB, Jude Fernando, Associate Investment Officer, ADB, Melissa Jane Y. Escurel and Senior Manager, Microfinance of HNB, Bandara Rekogama.

HNB PLC, signed a partnership agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to expand lending and provide guarantees of up to US$ 20 million to support development of Sri Lanka’s burgeoning microfinance sector.

Arranged under the ADB’s Microfinance Risk Participation and Guarantee Program, the agreement was signed by ADB Private Sector Financial Institutions Division Senior Investment Specialist Sabine Spohn and HNB Deputy General Manager - SME & Midmarket Jude Fernando at a formal ceremony in Colombo.

“HNB is an organisation that has long maintained a trusted and prosperous legacy in the microfinance sector. In our experience, access to finance can often be the crucial factor that determines whether a small scale entrepreneur is able to achieve his dream of a thriving business.

“Today’s agreement between HNB and the ADB is therefore a major step forward in our collective mission to support this vital sector. When we combine funding with comprehensive advisory services – all of which are heavily slanted to ensure the maximum benefit to the end-customer, we enable fresh economic opportunity in segments that are small, but hold tremendous growth potential. Partnerships such as these are therefore vital in creating a sustainable trajectory for our nation’s economy,” Fernando stated. Through the Microfinance Program, ADB and HNB aim to fill market gaps by sharing risks to promote local currency lending to these institutions.

“We are excited to partner with HNB, an established player in microfinance in Sri Lanka,” said Spohn. “Our partnership will help further expand the Microfinance Program, which has already facilitated more than $846 million in local currency loans across the region since 2012. Together, HNB and ADB will improve access to financial services to even more low- income families and small-business owners, especially in rural and remote areas in SriLanka.” 

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