SINGAPORE (30 April 2018) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today signed an agreement with Maybank, under ADB’s Microfinance Risk Participation and Guarantee Program, to expand local currency lending and provide guarantee of up to $20 million to the microfinance sector in Myanmar.
The agreement was signed by Christine Engstrom, Director of ADB’s Private Sector Financial Institutions Division, and Abdul Malek Mohd Khair, Country Head, Maybank Myanmar, at a ceremony in Singapore.
“We’re excited to partner with Maybank, an established player in microfinance in many countries in developing Asia,” said Ms. Engstrom. “Our partnership will help further expand the Microfinance Program, which has already facilitated more than $670 million in local currency loans across the region since 2012. Together, Maybank and ADB will improve access to financial services to even more low-income families and small-business owners, especially in rural and remote areas in Myanmar.”
Currently, many microfinance institutions struggle to access funds for growth from the commercial market to meet the demands of clients. Only approximately 12% of women have access to financial services in Myanmar. Through the Microfinance Program, ADB aims to fill market gaps by sharing risks with commercial banks to promote local currency lending to these institutions. This helps to mitigate microfinance institutions’ exposure to foreign exchange risks.
“This collaboration represents another key step in the bank’s strategy to build on its strong franchise in the region and further expand its support to the microfinance segment in Myanmar,” said Mr. Khair. “Maybank remains committed to supporting the Government of Myanmar’s goal to expand formal financial inclusion in the country to 40% by 2020 in line with the financial inclusion roadmap of Myanmar.”
Backed by ADB's AAA credit rating, the Microfinance Program provides risk sharing and guarantees to international and local partner financial institutions. Since 2012, the Microfinance Program has supported more than 3.5 million microfinance borrowers, primarily in India, Bangladesh, and Indonesia. To date, more than $350 million private sector cofinancing has been raised through the program.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in cofinancing.
Maybank is the largest financial services group in Malaysia, among Asia's leading banking groups and Southeast Asia’s fourth largest bank by market capitalization and total assets ($188.5 billion in 2017). The Maybank Group has an international network of over 2,200 offices.. Maybank offers an extensive range of products and services, which includes consumer and corporate banking, investment banking, Islamic banking, stock broking, insurance and takaful, and asset management. It has over 43,000 employees worldwide and has a Standard and Poor’s credit rating of A-. (www.maybank.com)