IFC may invest $50m debt in Ujjivan Small Finance Bank

IFC Altus Capital Partners
IFC/World Bank HQ. Photo: IFC

International Finance Corp, part of the World Bank Group, is likely to invest up to $50 million in the form of a loan in Ujjivan Small Finance Bank.

According to a disclosure by IFC, the loan will help the Bengaluru-based to extend its outreach to low income borrowers who have limited access to formal sources of financing. The funding will also strengthen Ujjivan’s balance sheet through availability of long tenor debt.

Ujjivan Small Finance bank is 100 per cent owned by its promoter Ujjivan Financial Services, in which IFC holds around 4.4 per cent stake. Public-listed firm Ujjivan Financials Services counts CX Partners, NewQuest, Bajaj, Sequoia and Caspian as its key investors.

It was one of the 10 entities to receive a licence from RBI to start banking operations in 2016. The bank operates through 462 branches in 24 Indian states and union territories.

“The proposed investment aims to provide long tenor and diversified funding support to the institutions as they transform from NBFC to Small Finance Bank,” said IFC.

IFC further said the investment would help demonstrate the sustainability of lending to micro and small business enterprises and build investor confidence in alternative means of micro-finance through various channels.

As of June 30, Ujjivan Small Finance bank’s total gross loan book stood at Rs 7,787 crore, while its total loan disbursements were Rs 2,092 crore for the quarter ended June.

Earlier this year, in May, IFC had said it was considering a loan proposal of up to $150 million for HDB Financial Services Ltd, a subsidiary of private sector’s HDFC Bank. Prior to that it had proposed to offer long-tenor debt of about $20 million to Kolkata-based Arohan Financial Services Pvt. Ltd.

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