Mizzima Business Weekly - - CONTENTS -

The In­ter­na­tional Fi­nance Cor­po­ra­tion, a mem­ber of the World Bank Group, has agreed to pro­vide Yoma Bank Ltd with a US$5 mil­lion con­vert­ible loan aimed at ben­e­fit­ting small and medium en­ter­prises, a news re­lease said on Septem­ber 16.

The pack­age is ex­pected to help Yoma Bank ex­pand lend­ing to small and medium en­ter­prises, a sec­tor of Myan­mar's econ­omy in des­per­ate need of fi­nanc­ing to grow and cre­ate more jobs, the re­lease said.

The agree­ment was signed by Yoma Bank ex­ec­u­tive chair­man and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer U Theim Wai, and IFC vice pres­i­dent, Asia-Pa­cific, Ms Karin Finkel­ston, at a cer­e­mony at the Myan­mar In­ter­na­tional Cen­ter in Nay Pyi Taw, the re­lease said.

“We're very pleased to be here to­day to be pro­vid­ing long-term fi­nanc­ing to Yoma Bank,” Ms Finkel­ston said at the cer­e­mony.

“I think Yoma has a com­mit­ment, ob­vi­ously, to the lo­cal business sec­tor through the small business sec­tor in Myan­mar but also a com­mit­ment to stan­dards,” she said.

The news re­lease said the loan was the first step in IFC fi­nan­cial support for the bank, which may be in­creased to $30 mil­lion in the com­ing years in the form of eq­uity, se­nior debt and trade guar­an­tee lines un­der the cor­po­ra­tion's Global Trade Fi­nance Pro­gram.

The pro­gram boosts a bank's ca­pac­ity to pro­vide fi­nanc­ing for im­porters and ex­porters.

The ad­di­tional support for Yoma Bank will be sub­ject to fur­ther due dili­gence and sub­se­quent ap­provals from IFC's man­age­ment and board, the re­lease said.

“It is cru­cial that small and medium en­ter­prises in Myan­mar have ac­cess to fi­nan­cial ser­vices that al­low them to op­er­ate and thrive,” U Theim Wai, also known as U Serge Pun, was quoted as say­ing in the re­lease.

“Yoma Bank is proud to grow its business in part­ner­ship with IFC to support SMEs in Myan­mar, which are crit­i­cal for the coun­try's eco­nomic and so­cial de­vel­op­ment,” he said.

“It is our aim to be a lead­ing SME Bank in the coun­try and to con­trib­ute to­ward de­vel­op­ing a vi­brant SME sec­tor in the coun­try.”

As well as the loan, the IFC will ad­vise Yoma Bank on iden­ti­fy­ing and in­stalling a core bank­ing sys­tem, en­hanc­ing its risk man­age­ment and cor­po­rate gov­er­nance and de­vel­op­ing new prod­ucts and de­liv­ery chan­nels for small and medium en­ter­prises dur­ing the next three years, the re­lease said.

Yoma Bank, one of Myan­mar's largest pri­vate banks with more than 50 branches, will also de­velop poli­cies and pro­ce­dures to iden­tify and man­age en­vi­ron­ment and so­cial risks as­so­ci­ated with the business ac­tiv­i­ties it fi­nances, it said.

IFC's in­vest­ment and ad­vi­sory support is ex­pected to help Yoma Bank pro­vide an ad­di­tional 1,000 loans worth $370 mil­lion to small and medium en­ter­prises in Myan­mar by 2019, the re­lease said.

“IFC puts a strate­gic fo­cus on sup­port­ing the de­vel­op­ment of Myan­mar's fi­nan­cial and bank­ing sec­tor as banks are crit­i­cally im­por­tant in help­ing en­trepreneur­s grow their busi­nesses and con­trib­ute to the over­all econ­omy,” said Ms Finkel­ston.

“IFC sup­ports Yoma Bank and other lenders to de­velop en­vi­ron­men­tal and so­cial sus­tain­abil­ity and stan­dards and gov­er­nance struc­tures that will help them in­te­grate into the in­ter­na­tional bank­ing com­mu­nity and bet­ter serve the needs of Myan­mar's small and medium en­ter­prises.”

The IFC de­scribes it­self as the largest global de­vel­op­ment in­sti­tu­tion fo­cused ex­clu­sively on the pri­vate sec­tor. It says it is work­ing with pri­vate en­ter­prises in about 100 coun­tries to help elim­i­nate ex­treme poverty and boost shared pros­per­ity.

(Ko Ko Gyi)

In­ter­na­tional Fi­nance Cor­po­ra­tion vice-pres­i­dent, Asia-Pa­cific, Ms Karin Finkel­ston, and Yoma Bank ex­ec­u­tive chair­man and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, U Theim Wai (right), at the sign­ing cer­e­mony in Nay Pyi Taw on Septem­ber 16 for a US$5 mil­lion loan...

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