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Khushhali Bank, IFC sign deal to develop housing finance

By our correspondents
June 17, 2016

KARACHI: Khushhali Microfinance Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, have signed an agreement; whereby IFC will help the bank develop a housing finance product, targeting primarily the underserved and rural communities of Pakistan, a statement said on Thursday.

Housing remains a dire need in Pakistan where an estimated 20 million people are homeless, according to the UN.

This situation has been compounded over the years through the occurrences of natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods, it said.

With 137 branches, over half a million borrowers and 1.2 million savers, Khushhali Microfinance Bank is well poised to venture into housing finance to address the needs of both the salaried and entrepreneurial class.

IFC will help tailor a product suite addressing home improvement at the outset. This phase is expected to lead to Khushhali Microfinance Bank exploring a potentially comprehensive offering, covering aspects of property purchase.

Ghalib Nishtar, president of the Khushhali Microfinance Bank said: “We have endeavoured to provide tailored financial solutions to our microfinance clients by choosing the right asset and liability offerings.”

“Our mission is to harness the entrepreneurial zeal of this country and support people in graduating out of the poverty cycle and we have been a market leader in doing so through traditional offerings such as group loans, as well as more innovative products such as individual enterprise loans.”

“Housing finance has long been a critical need, especially among the underserved and Khushhali Microfinance Bank hopes to address this through the right mechanism, which IFC will support us in developing,” he said.

Pakistan is a priority country for IFC and over the last three years, IFC has ramped up its investment and advisory work in Pakistan to help develop the private sector.

IFC has mobilised investments in the power and infrastructure sectors and provided access to finance to MSMEs through financial intermediaries.