NDB Bank announced yesterday it has secured a long term funding line of $ 75 million from the Development Finance Corporation of the United States to further the bank’s support for the small and medium businesses and infrastructure funding during these challenging times.
The United States is providing a welcome boost to small and medium businesses in Sri Lanka struggling with the impact of the pandemic. The United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is awarding a $ 75 million funding line to NDB Bank to support its work in expanding and strengthening the SME sector.
DFC is the development finance institution of the United States Federal Government, primarily responsible for providing and facilitating the financing of private development projects in lower- and middle-income countries. The funding line comes at a time when the country requires long-term, stable funding to help the economy recover from the effects of the pandemic.
With its DNA deeply rooted in development banking, NDB is ideally placed to enhance the impact of the funding in conjunction with its flagship propositions Jayagamu Sri Lanka for uplifting entrepreneurship in SME and Vanithabhimani for uplifting women driven businesses. Further, the investments the group is making in technology, including, but not limited to, virtual KYC and digital payment platforms, will improve financial inclusivity and enable SME’s to seamlessly transact with NDB.
These investments advance DFC’s development strategy, the Roadmap for Impact, and are part of DFC’s 2X Women’s Initiative which aligns with NDB’s Banking on Women initiatives aimed at improving financial inclusivity, gender equity and supporting women-led organisations.
NDB Bank, the fourth largest private bank in Sri Lanka, recognised as the best bank in Sri Lanka 2020 by The Banker UK, and best bank in Sri Lanka 2021 by Global Finance USA, has been at the forefront of supporting MSMEs, women-led enterprises and project finance.
“DFC is proud of our investment in National Development Bank, a leader in SME and gender-lens investing in Sri Lanka,” said DFC Office of External Affairs Vice President and Global Gender Equity Initiatives Head Algene Sajery.
“We applaud NDB Group’s ongoing commitment to unlocking the full economic potential of women in Sri Lanka, both by ensuring women are employed by and in senior management positions in their own organisation, and by committing to lending a portion of DFC’s loan to businesses that are owned by women, led by women, or provide a product or service that empowers women.”
NDB Group CEO Dimantha Seneviratne said: “While this is not the first time NDB has raised significant foreign funding, this is the first time we are borrowing from a US-based Development Finance Institution whose development aspirations are aligned to that of NDB. Further the timing of the facility cannot be better, coming at a critical juncture in the economy impacted by the third wave of the pandemic.”
He further noted that NDB was at the forefront in supporting the SME sector in these challenging times, disbursing the fourth largest quantum of Saubagya loans. This facility will help NDB support this vital sector of the economy with longer term funding at their time of need. NDB recently tied up as the main banking partner for SL@100 initiative funded by USAID, which promotes SMEs to upgrade to higher levels through strategic alignment initiatives.
NDB Investment Bank was the co-financial advisor to the transaction along with Alpen Capital Ltd.