Colombo, Sri Lanka, February
18, 2014—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is investing $7 million
in Sri Lanka’s Senkadagala Finance PLC to support the growth of
micro and small businesses across the country.
IFC’s funding will enable Senkadagala
Finance to extend over 50,000 new loans to micro, small, and medium enterprises
over a five-year period.
The loan will help Senkadagala
Finance increase its presence in Sri Lanka, focusing on the northern and
eastern regions. This is IFC’s first investment in a non-bank financial
institution in Sri Lanka since 1999.
“IFC’s investment is timely,
as we plan to expand our reach by opening 50 more branches and service
centers across Sri Lanka over the next five years. It will also increase
access to credit for micro and small businesses,” said Sanath Bandaranayake,
Director/Additional CEO of Senkadagala Finance.
Micro, small, and medium enterprises
play an important role in Sri Lanka. In 2011, IFC estimates that the sector
accounted for over 90 percent of all businesses in the country, and contributed
nearly 52 percent to Sri Lanka’s Gross Domestic Product. Small businesses
also play a critical role in promoting balanced regional development. However,
credit constraints hinder their development.
“Our investment in Senkadagala
will create indirect employment, reduce poverty, and boost shared prosperity,”
said Adam Sack, IFC Country Manager for Sri Lanka and Maldives. “Small
businesses are critical to Sri Lanka’s continued growth and development,
it is vital they have access to affordable financing options.”
Senkadagala Finance PLC, incorporated
in 1968, is a prominent, licensed deposit-taking institution. It
currently has 61 branches and service centers across Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka is a priority country
for IFC. IFC’s committed portfolio of over $280 million in Sri Lanka covers
projects across a range of sectors, including infrastructure, tourism,
renewable energy, finance, and healthcare. IFC also provides advisory services
to promote sustainable growth among small and medium enterprises by facilitating
access to finance, and by offering capacity-building and training opportunities.
IFC, a member of the World Bank
Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively
on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100
countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate
extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments
climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power
of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing
development challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org