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HNB injects Rs. 20mn as grant fund to support 200 microfinance customers

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Sri Lanka’s most MSME friendly bank HNB PLC, announced the launch of a Rs. 20 million grant fund to support 200 microfinance customers affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic across the country.

The fund, established by the bank through the HNB Sustainability Foundation, will offer microfinance customers up to Rs. 100,000 to upscale their businesses and work towards achieving SME status. HNB will grant funds in two phases to chosen microfinance customers with a view to revive and continue businesses impacted by the pandemic.

“I am very pleased to announce the launch of this vital source of funding through our Sustainability Foundation in support of microfinance entrepreneurs. 2020 has been extraordinarily challenging for all and this initiative comes at a most opportune and appropriate moment when businesses across the island are seeking the capital necessary to restart work.

Our expectation is that our customers will make good use of this grant, for working capital, recapitalizing their business and get back on their feet. As we have worked with the microfinance sector for more than three decades and SME sector since our origins, we have come to understand that we need to scale up our support by providing them with the necessary financial assistance and literacy to uplift them from the grassroots to become a SME,” HNB Managing Director and CEO and HNB Sustainability Foundation Chairman, Jonathan Alles said.

 



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Business

CBSL and IFC launch National Financial Inclusion Strategy

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Sri Lanka’s first National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) aunched recently, aims to make financial services more accessible, efficient, and affordable for all households and businesses in the country.

The NFIS is a joint effort led by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka—with technical and financial assistance from IFC, a member of the World Bank Group—under the IFC-DFAT Women in Work program. The development of this strategy was a multi-stakeholder effort supported by the government of Sri Lanka.

“The National Financial Inclusion Strategy symbolizes our country’s commitment towards a better and inclusive Sri Lanka that will benefit all individuals and enterprises. I believe this strategy will complement the Government’s efforts to minimize the provincial income disparities, urban-rural inequalities, and to promote inclusive growth,” said Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.

“More importantly, this strategy prioritizes future generations, having identified financial literacy as a key pillar. The proposal to strengthen the national curriculum in this area is a positive step. Investing in the education of our younger generation is the most significant investment we can make as a nation, as this will be a particularly helpful approach to the systematic correction of the financial habits of Sri Lankans,” the Prime Minister said.

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HNB – Havelock City partnership offers exclusive Ezy Pay Home Loans facility

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HNB PLC has partnered with Havelock City mixed-use development project to offer prospective homeowners of state-ofthe-art luxury apartments in Stratford and Melford Towers (Phase 3 – COC certified) and Peterson and Edmonton Towers (Phase 4) with the exclusive Ezy Pay Home Loans facility.

The partnership is set to offer customers the unprecedented opportunity to make a payment of only 20% and immediately occupy the limited units available in Phase 3 of the project or invest in apartments available in Phase 4, scheduled to be completed by May 2021. Further, Havelock City will take on the customer’s interest payment for one year.

“We have witnessed an increase in the demand for apartments and are aware that there is a limited stock of units available in the heart of Colombo. Therefore, we hope that this partnership with Havelock City will offer our customers looking to invest in a home of their own the facility to either move into an apartment immediately or invest in a home of their dreams,” HNB Head of Personal Financial Services, Kanchana Karunagama said.

Prospective homeowners can make use the bank’s flexible repayment options, such as the Step-up facility, which offers a repayment option in line with the customers evolving income. Customers can also obtain a maximum repayment period of 25 years for the loan facility for an attractive interest rate starting from just 7%.

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DPL lends a hand to children in Monaragala Rubber Farming Communities

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As part of its ongoing efforts to empower and uplift the livelihood of its farmer co-operative societies, Dipped Products PLC (DPL) distributed school bags to the children of 1,500 smallholder rubber farmers for the 10th consecutive year, under its flagship Firstlight CSR project.

This year’s distribution recorded the largest donation of school bags, which was nearly a two-fold increase from the previous year, bringing the total value of the distribution up to nearly Rs. 1 million.

Taking place at the Pinwatta Bodimalu Viharaya in Medagama, Monaragala, this latest distribution marks the Company’s continued efforts to support the smallholder rubber farming communities, by ensuring that their essential needs are looked after.

“Especially in this time of economic uncertainty, with the nation facing significant challenges and hardships, it is truly touching to see the positive impact which we continue to have on the underprivileged smallholder rubber farming communities. We believe that programmes like Firstlight hold the key to enhancing the livelihoods of our 1500-strong rubber farmers, providing them with an improved quality of life, whilst paving the way to open up new opportunities and a brighter future. This is why, with the enthusiastic response we have received over the years, we have now also expanded this school bag distribution to include the District of Kegalle,” Dipped Products Deputy Managing Director, Pushpika Janadheera said.

 

 

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