IFC extends P750-M loan to CARD for relending to MSMEs | Inquirer Business
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IFC extends P750-M loan to CARD for relending to MSMEs

/ 04:02 AM December 23, 2020

The World Bank Group’s International Finance Corp. (IFC) will extend a P750-million loan to a group of local microfinance institutions that will focus on supporting women entrepreneurs in the Philippines.

In a statement, IFC said the financing would be issued to two lenders belonging to Center for Agriculture and Rural Development-Mutually Reinforcing Institutions Group (CARD MRI), namely CARD Bank Inc. and CARD SME Bank Inc.

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IFC’s investment in CARD MRI, which has a network of some 120 bank branches and four million customers, is seen to benefit 60,000 firms, including 44,000 women-led micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

“Support from the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative in the form of performance-based incentives will help the banks reach predefined targets for lending to women-owned/led MSMEs,” IFC said.

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“The funding will provide critical working capital to ­MSMEs, which have been disadvantaged by the pandemic due to lack of funding buffers and capacity to restart operations during quarantine periods. More than half of [MSMEs] are led by women, and the largest share of companies operate in wholesale and retail, which have been impacted by COVID-19,” it added.

“The success of women-owned businesses in the Philippines is critical to the success of the economy. Our investment will help provide needed working capital at a crucial time for MSMEs, helping them sustain operations and save jobs so they are on a better footing for a successful postcrisis recovery,” said Rosy Khanna, IFC regional industry director for financial institutions in Asia-Pacific.

“Through this partnership with the IFC, we can reach more women-owned and -led MSMEs and help them continue their journey toward a better future,” CARD MRI founder and chair Jaime Aristotle Alip said. —BEN O. DE VERA INQ

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TAGS: Business, International Finance Corp. (IFC), msmes
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