Swiss-based Enabling Qapital makes maiden investment in Sri Lanka with Alliance Finance
Daily FT: Sri Lanka’s oldest finance company, Alliance Finance Company PLC (AFC), has secured a US$ 5 million medium term financing facility from impact investing fund, EMF Microfinance Fund AGmvK, Liechtenstein advised by Swiss-based Enabling Qapital S.A.
The financing facility will be used to support COVID-impacted Micro SME entrepreneurs across the country in line with AFC’s strong mandate to uplift the livelihood of marginalised communities and developing micro-SME entrepreneurs.
Enabling Qapital (EQ) is an Impact Investment Advisory Company with strong ties, expertise and a proven track record in Impact Investing. EQ has built a state-of-the-art approach when it comes to Microfinance and Impact Investments.
EQ is the exclusive advisor to the Enabling Microfinance Fund (EMF). EQ has a global footprint with teams based in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Africa, Central Asia, East Asia and Latin America. Investments of EQ have reached over 6.2 million microfinance customers around the world and out of whom 51% are females.
AFC Deputy Chairman and Managing Director Romani de Silva said: “This is a significant milestone for AFC and the funding provided by EQ will further strengthen our mandate for sustainable finance. Furthermore, I am very grateful to EQ for identifying AFC as the preferred channel for its maiden investment into the MSME sector in Sri Lanka. It is also a reflection of the trust placed in our sustainable business model and the confidence placed in the MSME sector of Sri Lanka.”
“In the year 2017, AFC became the first financial institution in Sri Lanka’s NBFI sector to commit to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, when they signed the ‘Karlsruhe Resolution’. In recent years, AFC has been investing 3-4% of its profit annually on social and environmental sustainability initiatives despite the extremely challenging external environment,” de Silva added.
AFC has demonstrated strong improvements in all of its performance indicators such as growth, profitability and portfolio quality in recent times, especially after the successful restructuring program implemented with the technical assistance of IFC.
Sri Lanka’s economic resilience and the continuous growth path has given confidence to international agencies to fund/invest in local businesses. Sri Lanka’s private sector has shown profits amidst pandemic challenges showing the strength and growth of the country’s business sector. The country’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean, the many trade agreements as well as concessions enjoyed by the country, the ease of doing business environment and the ongoing development programme have all helped make Sri Lanka an emerging business destination in the South Asian region. Foreign businesses/investors could therefore confidently explore business opportunities in Sri Lanka.
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