Pakistan: Microfinance Industry Determined to Meet Target
Islamabad, Pakistan, August, 22 2009 -
The microfinance industry is determined to meeting the target of 50 percent growth given to it by the government for the current financial year, said CEO of Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN) Syed Mohsin Ahmed, while speaking at a roundtable discussion on Friday.
Retail microfinance providers (MFPs) in Pakistan have a mixed track record of structuring their capital and attracting investors, he said.
The MFPs will need institutional strengthening and capacity-building to attract commercial funds on more favourable terms. He advocated shifting of focus from pricing per se to improving efficiency, and ensuring that MFPs profit margins fall within a reasonable band. In order to operate at an optimum level, the microfinance sector will need to have about 1.7 million employees, and 190,000 retail branches to reach a portfolio of Rs 2.5 trillion.
President of the Chicago-based ShoreBank International (SBI) Ms Laurie Spengler shared her bank’s experience of raising debt financing for the BRAC Africa Fund. BRAC and SBI successfully raised $4 million during its first phase, which closed in October 2008.