HNB PLC last week entered into an agreement with the German Development Finance Institution DEG – Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklu-ngsgesellschaftmbHto raise $ 35 million through a six-year senior long-term loan.
The funds raised would be utilised to finance the growth in the SME sector. The agreement is the second between HNB and DEG to raise capital. HNB in 2012 obtained an eight-year subordinated loan of $ 25 m for the same purpose of funding SME sector growth.
This transaction is the second long-term loan transaction signed by the bank with a prestigious international financial institution during 2015, the first being a $ 100 m loan with ADB signed in March this year for funding infrastructure development in Sri Lanka.
The agreement was signed on behalf of HNB by MD/CEO Jonathan Alles and Director Rose Cooray while Director Dr. Andreas Zeisler and Vice President Marina Dietz of DEG respectively signed the agreement on behalf of DEG.
Commenting at the signing, Alles stated: “HNB is delighted to enter into a second capital raising agreement with a financial institution of the stature of DEG. The funds raised will enable HNB to positively impact the entire eco system via the infusion of capital into the country’s engine of growth, the SME sector. The long term partnership of DEG with HNB for SME funding is a testimony of the bank’s ability to leverage on it 250 branch network in supporting a large number of SME customers spread across the country.”
He further stated: “HNB’s ability to raise finance internationally is a direct endorsement of HNB’s robust business model, growth trajectory and well capitalised balance sheet.”
“HNB and DEG have been partners for more than three years now. We are proud to announce a further long-term financing for our valued partner, earmarked for its business operations with SME clients. In doing so, we contribute to strengthening the financial sector in Sri Lanka and to creating and safeguarding jobs,” said Andreas Zeisler, Director Financial Institutions Europe/Asia, DEG.
He further stated: “SMEs have critical importance to the national economy. With its wide network, a comprehensive product range and solid expertise HNB has proactively positioned itself as a strong partner for SMEs.”
DEG, a subsidiary of Germany’s KFW, is one of the largest European development finance institutions for long-term project and company financing. For more than 50 years, DEG has been financing and structuring the investments of private companies in developing and emerging economies.
DEG invests in profitable projects that contribute to sustainable development in all sectors of the economy, from agriculture to infrastructure and manufacturing to services. It also focuses on investments in the financial sector in order to facilitate reliable access to capital locally. DEG’s aim is to establish and expand private enterprise structures in developing and transition countries, and thus create the basis for sustainable growth and a lasting improvement in the living conditions of the local population.
HNB is a premier private sector bank in Sri Lanka and has been recognised by prestigious international and local bodies for excellence in multiple disciplines. HNB in 2015 was the recipient of the ‘Best Retail Bank of 2014’ award at the Asian Banker’s ‘Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards’ and won the Gold Award in the Banking Category at the 11th ‘ACCA Sri Lanka Sustainability Reporting Awards’.
HNB is the first Sri Lankan bank to obtain an international credit rating via being assigned a foreign currency issuer rating of B1 on par with the sovereign rating by Moody’s Investors Service, while having a national long term rating of AA- (lka) by Fitch Ratings (Lanka) Ltd.
Courtesy: Daily Financial Times 16 September 2015