Advans Myanmar inks funding deals worth $1.44m with Yoma Bank

Advans Myanmar, a microfinance institution backed by Luxembourg-headquartered Advans Group, and Yoma Bank have closed three financial transactions in March worth $1.44 million to support its operations in the country, according to an announcement.

The deals include two cross currency swaps worth $700,000 and a back-to-back term loan of K1 billion (about $744,000).

“In only one year of operations, we have been able to expand our relationship Yoma Bank as our first local lender,” said Jana Chmelnizki Kadian, managing director of Advans Myanmar.

The currency swaps, which is the first for Yoma Bank, will enable Advans to hedge the exchange rate risk on their overseas borrowings and provide local currency funding.

The new funding is estimated to provide micro-loans to over 2.000 new families in the Mandalay and Sagaing regions.

“Innovative funding solutions like Yoma Bank’s back-to-back loan allow MFIs to attract funding without the need to commit fixed asset collateral typically required by banks,” said Teun van Vlerken, credit risk consultant with Yoma Bank under the LIFT-supported Agribusiness Finance Program.

According to Daw Zin Mie, Yoma Bank’s head of treasury, the swap is one of the hedging products that Yoma Bank has developed and introduced to the MFI community during the last few months.

“Our hedging products have generated considerable interest and we hope that this is the first of many transactions to come,” she said.

Launched in April 2017, Advans Myanmar has six branches in the Mandalay and Sagaing regions. As of April 2018, Advans Myanmar has served more than 11,000 clients with a gross loan portfolio of K 4 billion ($2.9 million).

Yoma Bank has previously supported MFIs in Myanmar by extending a K8 billion ($6 million) loan to Myanmar Finance International Limited, a joint venture of AIM-listed Myanmar Investments International. Maha Agriculture Public Co Ltd, a subsidiary of Myanmar Awba Group, also received $2.6 million financing while Mandalay Coffee Group received K800 million ($596,000) loan extension to its previous loan of K160 million ($119,000).