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IFC Helps Boost Lending to Smaller Businesses, Promote Innovative Finance for Improved Supply Chain Linkages in Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City, March 27, 2019 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a loan of $100 million to Vietnam’s Orient Commercial Joint Stock Bank (OCB). The IFC-led financing package, combined with advisory services, will boost lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), especially women-owned or led ones, and will promote supply chain finance in Vietnam.
Comprising 98 percent of Vietnam’s total enterprises, SMEs are the primary engine of job creation in Vietnam, employing more than half of the labor force and contributing about 40 percent to the gross domestic product. Yet, around 60 percent of SMEs have unmet financing needs—a $21 billion financing gap. Access to finance is therefore key to unlock the potential of SMEs.
The long-term financing package comprises $57.16 million from IFC’s own account and $42.84 million from the multi-investor Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Program (MCPP) managed by IFC. Notably, OCB aims to use at least 50 percent of the loan proceeds to finance WSMEs, with support from the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi)—a collaborative multi-stakeholder partnership aimed at addressing financial and non-financial constraints faced by WSMEs in developing countries.
“OCB sees SMEs as an important target segment to realize its strategy to become a leading retail and SME bank in Vietnam. IFC’s financing package helps reinforce the bank’s continued commitment to expanding lending to this segment, enabling SMEs to further grow and improve their performance in the context of increased competition,” said Nguyen Dinh Tung, OCB Chief Executive Officer.
This project is the first investment IFC will make in a commercial bank under its partnership with We-Fi. We-Fi’s ambition to help expand financial and market access to women will be realized through a performance-based incentive that will help catalyze at least $50 million in loans to women entrepreneurs.  
In addition to funding, in partnership with the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), IFC will help OCB develop its supply chain finance (SCF) business. While Vietnam is an export driven economy, currently few local banks offer a full range of supply-chain financial services to smaller businesses. With IFC’s support, OCB will develop a supply chain finance electronic platform to support the financing of commercial transactions in a transparent and efficient manner.
“Switzerland supports this private sector-led initiative on supply chain finance because it offers an innovative solution to address the longstanding challenge of access to finance for Vietnamese SMEs. It complements other instruments in the framework of Switzerland’s support to the private sector. All Swiss initiatives aim at increasing productivity and competitiveness of SMEs in Vietnam,” said Marcel Reymond, Head of Cooperation, Embassy of Switzerland in Vietnam.
IFC has provided to date more than $400 million in financing for women entrepreneurs in Vietnam. The country is one of the three biggest markets of the IFC’s gender finance program.
“This financing package with its large mobilization component is expected to have a catalytic impact for gender finance in the Vietnamese banking sector, which is at a critical juncture of mobilizing long-term private funding to support the country’s crucial goals of developing SMEs and accelerating economic growth,” said Vivek Pathak, IFC Regional Director for East Asia and the Pacific. “We share OCB’s vision to become a specialized SME and retail bank in Vietnam by exploring new opportunities and deploying innovative solutions to better address SMEs’ financing needs.”
IFC and OCB’s partnership started in 2011 with a trade finance guarantee of $20 million under IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program. IFC provided additional financing with a $25 million loan in March 2012 and a revolving short-term liquidity of $10 million. This partnership allowed the bank to increase financing to more small and medium enterprises and women-owned businesses and help more local companies increase trade and create employment opportunities.
About IFC
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit
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About OCB
Orient Commercial Joint Stock Bank is a commercial bank established in 1996. Currently, OCB has 130 transaction points along Vietnam with total asset as at the end of 2018 more than $4.2 billion equivalent. Effectiveness, sustainability, risk management with the application of international standards are top concerns in OCB’s operation. In December 2018, OCB was recognized to have met with Basel II requirements by the State Bank of Vietnam. For more information, visit  
About We-Fi
The Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative ( We-Fi) is a collaborative partnership among the 14 governments that have made financial contributions, eight multilateral development banks that serve as implementing partners, and other public and private stakeholders. We-Fi was formally established in October 2017 as a Financial Intermediary Fund hosted by the World Bank. We-Fi invests in programs and projects that help unlock billions of dollars in financing to address the full range of barriers facing women entrepreneurs—increasing access to finance, markets, technology, and mentoring, while strengthening policy, legal and regulatory frameworks. As one of the We-Fi Implementing Partners, IFC supports private sector clients with investment and advisory services to expand financial services and market access for women-owned/led firms, as well as increasing the capacity of women entrepreneurs to run high-growth businesses. For more information, visit .
About SECO
The Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) represents the Swiss Confederation’s center of expertise for all core economic policy issues, including Switzerland’s economic development cooperation. SECO’s mandate is to enable sustainable and inclusive economic growth. For SECO, growth is sustainable if it creates jobs, helps to increase productivity, to reduce poverty, inequalities and global risks. It is our aim to contribute to sustained economic growth, high employment and fair working conditions, by creating the necessary regulatory framework conditions and through promoting private sector engagement. Our strategy is to help integrate partner countries into the global economy and enhance their competitive position. For more information, visit .