Newly launched private sector IDFC Bank has acquired a 9.99 per cent stake in ASA International India Microfinance (ASAI India) for nearly $1.3 million (Rs 8.5 crore), according to a report in The Economic Times.
The acquisition, which marks the first investment by the lender in a microfinance institution, will give IDFC Bank a seat on the board of ASAI India and also access to banking operations in the country’s eastern region.
IDFC Bank, subsidiary of infrastructure company IDFC Ltd, started operations in October last year with 23 branches across India, 15 of which are spread across three districts of Madhya Pradesh. The bank’s business units include bharat banking, personal and business banking and commercial and wholesale banking.
The Reserve Bank of India granted a universal banking license to IDFC Ltd in July, 2015. IDFC Ltd. demerged on October 1, 2015, transferring all assets and liabilities of its lending business (“Financing Undertaking”) to IDFC Bank Ltd. The bank is listed on both the stock exchanges – Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange.
ASAI India is a division of Dhaka-headquartered ASA with operations dominant in the northeast. The company has 104 branches spread across 22 districts of West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh at present. It had over 1.3 lakh borrowers at the end of December, a total loan portfolio of over Rs 60 crore and 400 employees, including 241 loan officers, the report added.
ASA currently operates in over 12 countries plans to disburse $2.5 billion in loans among 6.6 million clients in 2015-16.