LOLC’s globally recognised microfinance model ventures into Pakistan

Daily Ft: The LOLC Group on Friday inked a historic joint venture with Pak Oman Microfinance Bank Ltd., to introduce LOLC’s exceptional and globally accepted Microfinance model to the people of Pakistan.

Having observed LOLC’s uniquely effective microfinance business model and its success stories in Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Cambodia, Pak Oman Microfinance Bank Ltd. which is a joint venture between the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Sultanate of Oman, invited LOLC to take a majority stake in their Microfinance venture. 

Pak Oman Microfinance Bank has been offering a range of micro credit and micro savings products and services to the people of Pakistan, since its inception in May 2006. Through its new partnership with LOLC, Pak Oman Microfinance Bank hopes to capitalise on the specialty of LOLC’s distinctive Microfinance model which keeps transforming and enabling Micro businesses to become Small and Medium level enterprises through sustainable industrialisation. 

In Sri Lanka, LOLC’s microfinance model has made remarkable progress within a short span of time and is successfully steered by four LOLC Group companies, namely, LOLC Micro Credit Ltd., LOLC Finance PLC, BRAC Lanka Finance PLC and Commercial Leasing and Finance PLC. These entities promote sustainable development by uplifting the livelihoods of the grassroot level entrepreneurs who are the backbone of the Sri Lankan economy. By empowering the rising entrepreneurs to overcome income disparities, LOLC has successfully empowered communities and revived many different sectors and villages over the years. 

LOLC’s maiden international investment, PRASAC Microfinance Institution, is currently Cambodia’s largest Microfinance institution, providing access to financial services to rural communities. PRASAC is driven by its ultimate goal to raise the economic standards of the Cambodian people by ensuring financial returns, supplemented by social and environmental protection. In just over two years in operation, LOLC Myanmar Microfinance Company Limited (LMML) became the 8th largest microfinance provider in Myanmar, among 168 licensed microfinance institutions operating in the country. LMML consolidated its position in the highly competitive Myanmar market through its unique and innovative microfinancing approach.  

LOLC Group MD and CEO Kapila Jayawardena in a statement at the ceremony said that helping thousands of entities and opening up billions of business opportunities to the smallest businesses have shown a boost in growth of an economy. By helping ‘startup and small businesses’, we assist them to gain greater confidence through a simplified and unique financial model to progress in any industry of choice.” 

He went on to state that we are glad that the State Government of Pakistan and the Sultanate of Oman, currently holding 100% of PakOman Microfinance Bank, have invited LOLC to join hands with them and take on a major stake of the venture, to bring about a distinctive operationally excellent model, to make a game changing difference, thereby uplifting the financial and social performances in the region. 

He also said that this transaction will continue to spread LOLC’s global footprint and is a compelling opportunity to continue to invest and pursue short and long term growths with operational flexibility. “We look forward to working with these two sophisticated investors and roll-out this unique Micro Finance model in the region,” he added.

Blessed with abundant natural and historical riches, Pakistan is the sixth-most populous country in the world with a population exceeding 200 million people. Agriculture accounts for more than one-fourth of output and two-fifths of employment, while textiles and apparel account for most of the country’s export earnings. 

LOLC which began as a non-bank financial institution has rapidly yet sustainably evolved to become one of the largest and most diversified conglomerates in Sri Lanka. Today, the portfolio of the LOLC Group encompasses a wide spectrum, from financial services to leisure, plantations and renewable energy and other strategic investments. This transaction with Pak Oman Microfinance Bank perfectly complements the company’s growth trajectory, expanding the positive impact on the lives of thousands of people in Sri Lanka and beyond.  

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