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IFC Makes New Investments to Strengthen Microfinance Lending in China

Beijing, October 17, 2013 – IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has made new investments with an aggregate exposure of up to 186 million yuan ($30 million) in Fullerton Credit to expand much-needed microfinance lending for small and medium enterprises in China’s less-developed western and central provinces.
Fullerton Credit is a subsidiary of Fullerton Financial Holdings and is wholly owned by the Singaporean government’s investment arm, Temasek Holdings. IFC’s investment takes the form of two five-year renminbi-denominated senior loans in Chongqing city and Hubei province, and follows an earlier IFC loan of 315 million yuan ($50 million) to Fullerton Credit, which was fully disbursed in March 2013.  
“IFC and Fullerton’s partnership has been strengthened by this investment,” said Danny Quah, chief executive officer of Fullerton Credit. “It allows us to expand access to finance in China’s frontier regions and helps to create jobs.”
IFC’s investment will provide long-term local currency funding, which is scarce in the market, for micro-credit companies. The investment will also help Fullerton Credit enhance its lending capacity and expand its presence in China’s southwest and central regions, increasing the supply of affordable credit to more micro and small enterprises. The expansion can encourage other micro-credit companies and possibly banks to replicate this model to serve more of China’s many micro and small enterprises.
“With its extensive micro-finance experience and resources throughout the globe, IFC is well positioned to support partners like Fullerton,” said Aliou Maiga, IFC’s acting director for financial markets, Asia-Pacific. “This second investment reinforces our shared commitment to microfinance in China’s frontier regions where a lack of access to finance has traditionally hindered these smaller companies’ growth.”
IFC supports China’s burgeoning microfinance sector through direct investment and advisory services. In 2004, IFC helped create China’s first foreign-invested microcredit company and helped the country’s largest grassroots microfinance institution expand access to credit to the rural poor.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org
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