LOLC Group Deputy Chairman Ishara Nanayakkara and Pak Oman Investment Company and Pak Oman Microfinance Bank Chairman Yahya Al Jabri signing the joint venture agreement. Also in the picture are Pak Oman Investment Company Managing Director/CEO and Pak Oman Microfinance Bank Director, Bahauddin Khan and LOLC Group Managing Director Kapila Jayawardena
By Shabiya Ali Ahlam
Sri Lanka’s leading non-banking financial institution, Lanka Orix Leasing Company (LOLC), saw its unique microfinance model being accepted to be applied in yet another regional market.
Having recognized the microfinance business model of LOLC as ‘uniquely effective’ due to its success in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Cambodia, Pak Oman Microfinance Bank Limited has offered the local entity to take a stake of 51 percent in its microfinance venture.
Pak Oman Microfinance Bank Limited is a joint venture between the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Sultanate of Oman, and was established in May 2006. The entity offers a range of micro credit and micro savings products and services in Pakistan.
Officials of Pak Oman Microfinance Bank Limited stated that with its new partnership with LOLC, it aims to capitalize on the specialty of LOLC’s distinctive microfinance model.
The model is recognized to be transforming while enabling microfinance businesses to become small and medium level enterprises through sustainable industrialization.
Pak Oman Investment Company and Pak Oman Microfinance Bank Chairman Yahya Al Jabri while addressing a gathering prior to inking the joint venture in Colombo on last Friday stated that the said arrangement is only the first step towards building a long-term relationship through which Oman, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are to reap benefits in the near future.
“We have the necessary resources in our country to be the leading economic power in the region. We just need to coordinate and plan in an effective manner to capitalize on each of our strengths,” said Jabri at the gathering that was also graced by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake.
Reflecting similar sentiments, LOLC Group Managing Director and CEO Kapila Jayawardena noted that by helping startups and small businesses, the joint venture will assist such aspiring entities to gain greater confidence to progress into any industry.
Speaking from the view point of LOLC he said: “The transaction will continue to spread our (LOLC) global footprint and is a compelling opportunity to continue to invest and pursue short and long-term growths with operational flexibility.”
The transaction with Pak Oman Microfinance Bank is said to ‘perfectly complement’ LOLC’s growth trajectory, expanding the positive impact on the lives of those in Sri Lanka and beyond.
LOLC’s maiden international investment, PRASAC Microfinance Institution, is currently Cambodia’s largest microfinance institution, providing access to financial services to rural communities.