IFC proposes $10m financing in PH microfinance firm Card Bank

International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is considering a $10 million investment in Card Bank, one of the largest microfinance institutions in the Philippines, according to a disclosure.

The funding will be in a form of a one-year, renewable senior loan to support Card Bank’s working capital lending program to its micro, small, and medium clients impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Card Bank, established in September 1997, has about three million clients, 90 per cent of which are women. Headquartered in San Pablo, Laguna, Philippines, it has a network of 96 branches and 821 offices throughout the Philippines as of June 2020.

IFC said its Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) is also expected to support Card Bank in the form of a performance-based incentive of up to 0.2 per cent of the $10-million total to incentivise on-lending to women and women-owned or led enterprises.

We-Fi is a multi-donor initiative to address barriers to financial access and provide related services that address public and private-sector constraints to women entrepreneurs and women-led SMEs across the developing world, thereby promoting jobs and boosting economic growth.

“By supporting Card Bank clients’ capacity to sustain operations during this acute shock, IFC best positions the private sector to support the economic recovery process, shortening the time it will take for the most vulnerable to return to their traditional income-earning opportunities,” IFC said.

Card Bank is 31 per cent owned by CARD Inc, 6.0 per cent by CARD Employees Multi-Purpose Cooperative, the Cooperative of all CARD MRI staff, and around 64 per cent owned by CARD Mutual Benefit Association, the life and credit life micro-insurance provider of CARD MRI Group.

The funding comes as the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) said the MSME sector is key to COVID-19 inclusive recovery for the Philippines

MSMEs comprise 99.5 per cent of business establishments in the Philippines and are employing approximately 63 per cent of the country’s workforce, according to UNDP.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.