IFC proposes to make $10m debt investment in Nepal’s Nirdhan bank

International Finance Corporation (IFC) has proposed to invest up to $10 million in Nirdhan Utthan Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Limited, a Kathmandu-based retail microfinance institution.

Nirdhan, formerly known as Nirdhan Utthan Bank, provides microfinance services such as loans, deposits, micro-insurance and remittance services to low income households of Nepal.

An IFC disclosure cited that Nirdhan operates with a borrower base of more than 338,000 female borrowers and a loan portfolio of around $155 million as of January 2019.

IFC’s proposed investment will help the company to expand microfinance, including to very small enterprises, in the under-served regions and population segments in the country.

Set up in 1998 by Dr. Harihar Dev Pant, Nirdhan is listed on Nepal Stock Exchange and its 49-per-cent shareholding is held by the public.

Three commercial banks – Nabil Bank, Himalayan Bank and Everest Bank – together hold 24.62 per cent in the bank while Nirdhan NGO and Grameen Trust Bangladesh own 11.01 per cent, IFC 7.54 per cent and private individuals the remaining 7.83 per cent.

Nirdhan currently operates through a network of 181 branch offices across all 77 districts of Nepal.