LOLC Finance Secures $10m New Cross-Border Funding from Swedfund

Dec 2019
Sri Lanka, December, 23 2019 - LOLC Group subsidiary, LOLC Finance PLC (LOFC) has signed a loan agreement with Swedfund, the Swedish Government’s Development Finance Institution (DFI) to receive a total of $ 10 m in a deal facilitated by UK and US based Emerging Markets Global Advisory Ltd. (EMGA).

As a front-runner in the Sri Lankan financial landscape, this deal represents another milestone for LOFC in taking the initiative to further expand on strategic international alliances with innovative financing solutions.

Commenting on the transaction, LOLC Group Treasurer Rohan Perera said, “LOLC Group has fostered longstanding partnerships with many DFIs for whom we are considered the preferred conduit in achieving their development goals, so we are pleased to further reinforce this commitment by partnering with Swedfund, the renowned development finance arm of the Swedish Government. Our foreign partners have offered us invaluable assistance ranging from capacity building to exposure to global standards over the years, which has allowed us to set the industry standard, particularly in light of the Group’s growing footprint.

“We would also like to convey our appreciation to EMGA as we continue our relationship, for successfully structuring a new foreign financing opportunity that will complement our expansion plans and enable us to harness our strengths and deliver on our vision for inclusive, sustainable growth in the Micro and SME sector.”

Commenting on the transaction, EMGA Managing Director and Investment Banking Co-Head Sajeev Chakkalakal said, “It was a pleasure to be able to communicate LOLC’s vision to be a catalyst in facilitating financial inclusion and successfully structure and negotiate this funding solution with Swedfund. Also speaking on the transaction, EMGA Managing Director and Head of Origination Jeremy Dobson commented, “Key to this transaction has been LOLC’s strong management and solid financial position, both were major factors that enabled Sajeev and EMGA’s Investment Banking team to complete this operation with the solid institutional support and financial capacity that Swedfund represent.

Financial inclusion is a key contributor to Swedfund’s mission to eradicate poverty by contributing to improved standards of living through job creation. But also improved gender equality in workplaces and improved access to basic products, services and capital for women, says Swedfund CEO Maria Håkansson.

Today, with a uniquely effective MSME business model and a successful regional footprint spanning Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Indonesia, Philippines and Nigeria, LOLC Group has fully established itself as a strong regional financial conglomerate. With this standing as well as several investments in the pipeline, the Group is poised to be a global financial catalyst with a multi-currency, multi geographic microfinance and SME platform in the future.

LOLC Group has been lauded for the developmental and transformational role in its communities of operation, led by a business model where there is a particular emphasis placed on the empowerment of women as the driving force behind making this a reality. Over the years, LOLC has functioned as a catalyst in transforming communities to step up livelihoods, revolutionised industries increased mechanisation, contributed to GDP by fuelling economic activities in the countries which it operates, above all, uplifted societies through its sustainable inclusive financing approach through. This is reinstated by LOLC’s partnerships with over 100 international funding partners, with some relationships running over 25 years.

Backed by LOLC’s strong brand and financial stability, LOFC is one of the premier finance companies in Sri Lanka, as well as the largest deposit base in the NBFI sector, offering an innovative and effective product mix catering to the MSME market. The Company is renowned for its pioneer status within the industry as the first NBFI in Sri Lanka to offer Islamic Financing Products, join the SWIFT network, and be granted approval by CBSL to conduct Foreign Currency Business.

EMGA is an emerging markets investment banking boutique with offices in New York and London. It helps financial institutions and corporates as well as project finance sponsors that seek new debt or equity capital. EMGA provides its services, to clients within many of the world’s rapidly developing economies, including Sri Lanka which remains a key market. EMGA’s multi-national investment banking team collectively possess the decades of experience necessary to complete transactions on behalf of their clients within the worlds emerging markets and frontier economies.

With a proven track record in capital formation and strategic advisory throughout diverse economic cycles, EMGA continues to expand its geographic reach and service offering, as it solidifies its place in the market as one of the industries preeminent emerging markets focused investment banks.

Swedfund is Sweden’s development finance institution (DFI) with the mission to fight poverty by investing in sustainable businesses. The goal is to contribute to sustainable and inclusive growth, fight climate change and work for the economic empowerment of women. We invest to create decent jobs, generate renewable energy and improve access to healthcare. As a state-owned company, Swedfund is managed by the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation. The operations are financed partly through capital injections for which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible and through reflows from the own portfolio. Swedfund was founded in 1979 and has since the start made more than 240 investments in more than 60 countries.

Source : Daily FT

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