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Housing Development Finance Corporation Plc. - Maldives
Summary of Proposed Investment
This Summary of Proposed Investment is prepared and distributed to the public in advance of the IFC Board of Directors’ consideration of the proposed transaction. Its purpose is to enhance the transparency of IFC’s activities, and this document should not be construed as presuming the outcome of the Board decision. Board dates are estimates only.
Primary Mortgage Institutions
Reg Ind, Financial Markets, ASIA
Date SPI disclosed
May 4, 2007
Projected board date
June 7, 2007
Invested: February 9, 2009
Signed: July 23, 2008
Approved: April 29, 2008
The project entails the privatization of Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited (HDFCL or the company) in the Republic of Maldives, which is currently 100% owned by the Government of Maldives (GoM). IFC intend to invest up to $1.8 million as equity of up to 15% stake, in, along with up to $10 million of long term debt to support the growth of the privatized company. After privatization, the government ownership in the company would be reduced to 40% or below. The investment would be supplemented by an IFC Advisory Services package to assist HDFCL’s smooth transition from a government owned company to a private-sector firm. Housing Development Finance company of India (HDFC) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) are also invited to participate in this privatization project. As part of the privatization program, the GoM has also planned to list the company on the Maldives stock exchange.
The Maldives, with a population of about 300,000, is an island nation consisting of 20 atolls which encompass a territory of about 1200 islands stretching over of an area of 90,000 sq km in the Indian Ocean. About 200 islands are inhabited by local communities. After the 2004 December tsunami, the population on Male, the Capital island with a land area of 1.9 sq km, has surged from below 80,000 to over 110,000, putting an immense pressure on the existing 8,000 housing units. With 58,000 inhabitants per sq km on the Island and an average of 14 inhabitants per dwelling unit, Male is undoubtedly one of the most densely populated and congested places on earth.
To ease the housing shortage and reduce the congestion in Male, the GoM has reclaimed an island, Hulhumale, about 2 km from Male, and planned to build as many as 8,000 new housing units and commercial facilities there. HDFCL, the first and only housing finance company, was established by the GoM in 2004 to provide long-term loans to residents who are eager to migrate to the new island. However, despite the demand for housing finance, the company has not been able to extend any new loans over the last year due to funding constraints. The company had run out of the initial equity funding invested by the government, and had not been able to borrow from commercial sources without the full government guarantee. The GoM, for prudent fiscal reasons, has decided not to continue the practices of providing credit guarantees to the company. After a period of hiatus, the GoM has invited IFC, ADB, and HDFC of India, to help privatize the company, and to list the company on the local stock exchange.
Project sponsor and major shareholders of project company
HDFCL is a limited liability company and is currently fully owned by the GoM to support the housing finance sector. The GoM is in the process of privatizing HDFCL. After privatization the GoM ownership would be reduced from 100% to 40% or below. It is envisioned that HDFC of India, IFC, ADB, and public will own the balance 60% of the company.
Total project cost and amount and nature of IFC's investment
The proposed funding plan for HDFCL aggregates up to $62 million of debt and equity to meet the demand for housing finance in the Maldives economy. Of the total, equity would be up to $12 million and the balance of up to $50 million would be debt. IFC would invest in equity for up to 15% stake in the company along with an “A” loan of up to $10 million. The remaining funds would be sourced from other domestic and international investors. IFC would also offer the Advisory Services package to the company help its institution-building effort, to smooth its transition from a fully government-owned unit to a private-sector company.
IFC investment as approved by Board
12 million (USD)
IFC Investment (million USD)
* These investment figures are indicative
Location of project and description of site
The head office of HDFC is located in Male, the capital of Maldives.
Anticipated development impact of the project
The development impact of this project would be:
- Development of commercially viable, long-term sustainable housing finance market in Maldives:
The company extends housing finance, and therefore offers an opportunity of home ownership for middle and lower-income borrowers on a commercially viable, long-term sustainable basis. While HDFCL had been a significant source for housing finance in the country; in the absence of long term debt/equity financing, it is unable to meet the existing demand from creditworthy clients. The project will help jump start the housing finance market to assist a majority of the population in the country to obtain housing finance to realize their dreams of owning their homes.
- Privatization and institution-building of the country’s first private-sector housing finance company:
HDFCL has not been able to develop its business and provide relief to the severe housing shortage in the country. It ceased operations due to lack of access long-term commercial funds and more fundamentally, due to its complete reliance on government guarantees which could not be sustained. A successfully privatized company, operating along the principles of being commercially viable and long-term sustainable, would generate great and sustained relief to the housing shortage situations in the country, improve the quality of life for many citizens, and contribute to creation of a vibrant financial sector of the country.
- Development of housing related SME/supply industries: Through extensive linkage effects, the housing industry will contribute to the development of SMEs that supply labor and materials for the construction and improvement of homes, since most of the construction activity is conducted through contractors and the informal sector. Sufficient demand for the supplies provided by the informal sector would prompt development of such segments in the economy into more formal and better managed companies leading to a more professional construction sector.
- Support the development of a new urban center:
GoM’s investment in Hulhumale and its efforts to spread the capital island thereby easing the pressure on Male, has not succeeded so far. This has primarily been due to the lack of housing finance for individuals, which has led to less than 5% of Hulhumale island being built and occupied as of date. Supporting HDFCL would allow for further development of Hulhumale by facilitating migration to the Hulhumale, creating economic opportunities in the newly developed projects and by extension, improve living conditions in Male.
IFC's expected development contribution
- Access to Finance:
The major constraints that are limiting the availability of housing finance result from two critical factors - shortage of strong, credible, and well capitalized players and lack of adequate funding, in maturity, structure and volume required for housing finance. IFC will address these constraints by infusing equity into the company, as well as long term funds to appropriately finance the company’s mortgage assets. Based on the infusion of fresh funds by the shareholders which could only last for a short-span, IFC will work with other new shareholders to assist the company to restructure itself, converting it from a government undertaking to a private-sector company. IFC would support HDFCL with technical assistance to build capacity and strengthen its existing credit approval systems as well as management systems.
- Demonstration Effect:
Through its investment, IFC would demonstrate that investment in a well managed adequately capitalized housing finance company is a commercially viable option on a sustainable, long-term basis. It is hoped that this would encourage the existing local companies to extend long term funds to HDFCL without the government guarantee, thereby taking on HDFCL risk.
Environmental and social issues - Category C
This project is engaged in the business of mortgage finance and has been classified as a Category C project according to IFC’s Environmental and Social Review Procedure. No further review is required. The project is required to inform IFC in the event of any change in the nature or scope of its contemplated business or operations.
For inquiries about the project, contact:
Ms. Raheema Saleem, Managing Director
Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited
5th Floor, H. Fulidhooge Building, Kalaafaanu Higun
Male, Republic of Maldives
Telephone: +960 333 8810
Fax: +960 331 5138
For inquiries and comments about IFC, contact:
General IFC Inquiries
IFC Corporate Relations
2121 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20433
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