Japan International Cooperation Agency signs Private Sector Investment Finance Agreement with the First Micro Finance Bank Limited-Pakistan — assisting with the microfinance operation and promoting access to finance in Pakistan

Tokyo: In Tokyo today, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a subscription agreement with the First Micro Finance Bank Limited- Pakistan (FMFB-P), one of the largest microfinance banks for microfinance project in Pakistan.

JICA and FMFB-P also signed a shareholders’ agreement with Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance (AKAM), Aga Khan Rural Support Program (AKRSP) and International Financial Corporation (IFC). The project will be supported through Private Sector Investment Finance (PSIF) which was restarted in JICA from March last year.

Under this project, JICA supports FMFB-P’s microfinance operations in Pakistan through PSIF in order to assist its business expansion. For executing the project, JICA provides equity of PKR 240 million to FMFB-P. AKAM, AKRSP and IFC are also participating in the project as shareholders of FMFB-P.

AKAM and AKRSP are group institutions of Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). On March 8 this year, JICA and AKDN signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance the partnership in economic / social development field. This project is first ever to be implemented under the above stated MOU. Starting from this project, JICA intends to encourage closer cooperation with AKDN in future.

It has been pointed out that 56% of adult population in Pakistan does not have any access to finance, 32% relies on financial services provided by illegal money lenders and deposit opportunities are also significantly limited. Under this circumstance, demand for microfinance has been increased to improve access to finance.

In order to meet the demand, FMFB-P has been expanding its microfinance services provision in these years and has recently provided the service to around 170,000 people at 147 branches. Consequently, FMFB-P has grown to the third largest microfinance bank (in amount of the total assets) in Pakistan and FMFB-P is planning to keep expanding its service provision in the future.

Hence, it is expected that the project will contribute to promoting the access to finance in Pakistan and more broadly, promoting job creation and the poor’s self-reliance through FMFB-P’s operation in the Country.

For more information, contact:
Muhammad Zubair
Administrative Officer (Public Relations)
Japan International Cooperation Agency (Pakistan)
Office, 4th Level, Serena Business Complex, Ramna 5,
Kahayaba-e-Suharwardi, G-5/1, Islamabad
Tel: +9251 9244500-07
Fax: +9251 9244508

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