Home Business & Finance DFID and Karandaaz bring Credit Enhancement Facility to Pakistan for Infrastructure Projects

DFID and Karandaaz bring Credit Enhancement Facility to Pakistan for Infrastructure Projects

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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Credit Enhancement Facility (PCEF) was introduced to public and private sector stakeholders yesterday in a conference co-hosted by Karandaaz Pakistan and UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) in Islamabad. The local currency credit enhancement facility is being set up to address and overcome existing constraints in the supply of local financing to infrastructure projects and to help the development of the local financial market.

Patricia Seex, Head of Economic Growth, DFID Pakistan while speaking at the conference said,“I am delighted that DFID has supported the development of this innovative and important facility to help infrastructure developers access the finance they need at a price they can afford. This facility will contribute to addressing both Pakistan’s infrastructure gaps, particularly for smaller projects and social infrastructure, and to the development of the financial sector which is underserving all but largest businesses.”

Lasitha Perera, CEO of GuarantCo, said, “It is expected that the Pakistan Credit Enhancement Facility (PCEF) will enhance Pakistan’s capacity to attract and unlock latent pools of capital from pensions and insurance for infrastructure investment into key sectors of the country’s economy. GuarantCo has been active in Pakistan since 2013 as an international credit enhancement provider and is delighted to be part of this constructive partnership to establish a Pakistan-based credit enhancement facility as we have successfully done in Nigeria. In Pakistan, this facility will provide local currency guarantees for infrastructure projects making them bankable for commercial lending. PCEF is expected to support smaller scale power projects (including renewables); logistics including storage, warehouses, industrial parks, pipelines, smaller port developments, etc.; secondary roads with some demand risk; hospitals; education; housing; waste water and water including desalination; local transportation; and inputs to infrastructure projects.”

Ali Sarfraz, CEO of Karandaaz Pakistan said, “We are happy to have partnered with this initiative. The Credit Enhancement Facility will help mobilise private investment in infrastructure, in order to increase service provision for the poor, boost economic growth and alleviate poverty. Similar facilities have been established in some of the world’s poorest countries. This first-of-its-kind facility in Pakistan will invigorate the debt market to fuel infrastructure development in the country in the long-term while working through local commercial banks & NBFIs. There is an existing strong need for credit enhanced debt instruments and given the eligibility criteria of the types of transactions that can benefit from this, there is a strong identifiable deal flow in Pakistan.”

Karandaaz Pakistan promotes access to finance for SMEs through commercially directed investments and financial inclusion for individuals through promotion of digital financial services. It also develops and disseminates evidence based insights, and encourages innovation in financial space. Karandaaz has financial and institutional support from DFID and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

DFID is supporting PCEF through GuarantCo, part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG).  GuarantCo was established to mobilise local currency investment for infrastructure projects and support the development of financial markets in low income countries. GuarantCo is supported by the governments of the UK, Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands and Australia and is rated AA- by Fitch and A1 by Moody’s.  Cardano Development is acting as an advisor for the establishment of PCEF. Cardano Development is committed to helping frontier economies develop and prosper. Their goal is to address financial and risk-based challenges faced in frontier markets. News Desk

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