CDB raises USD 60 million in foreign funding for SMEs


With its ethos of nurturing and fostering micro and SMEs in the country to optimize their contribution towards the nation’s macro growth, Citizens Development Business Finance PLC (CDB) raised USD 60 Mn in FY 2018/2019 to uplift and develop this vital engine of growth in the country’s economy. Having already gained a first loan of USD 6 Mn by BIO in 2013 which CDB disbursed to micro and SMEs in the country and paid back fully, the platform of trust and credibility given to CDB by foreign agencies is reiterated further with this larger tranche. Working with three funding agencies whose objective is to develop and improve the micro and SME sectors in developing and emerging economies, CDB’s collective of USD 60Mn in the current financial year comprises USD 10 Mn from the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO) and USD 25 Mn each from the Dutch development bank of the Netherlands FMO and impact investment manager BlueOrchard Finance Ltd headquartered in Switzerland. The timeline for repayment is spread over five years. The funds from FMO and BlueOrchard were arranged by Emerging Markets Global Advisory Limited (EMGA).

As Director Corporate Finance Roshan Abeygoonewardena explains, "With our aspiration of being a financial powerhouse, we have to look at the big picture and the big picture shows us that SMEs form the nucleus of growth. Micro entities and SMEs have contributed with great tenacity towards building this country and as a responsible corporate steward, it is vital that CDB fosters that tenacity to maximize on the immense potential these SMEs and micro enterprises possess."

While appreciating the funding agencies for their trust in allocating the USD 60 Mn to CDB for disbursement, Abeygoonewardena also mentioned that the funding objectives fall well in line with the extensive financial services that CDB provides. "This is definitely a springboard for the country to build a strong private sector. With CDB spearheading a drive to achieve the country’s Sustainable Development Goals, we herald the collaborations we have established with these three funding agencies which will assist us in moving closer towards meeting these goals."

FMO, which holds an AAA rating from both Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s, is a public-private partnership with 51% shares held by the Dutch state and 49% by commercial banks, trade unions and the private sector investing in over 85 countries. It emphasizes sustainable growth through income generation and business development via responsible environmental and social emphasis.(CDB)

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