SIFEM - Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets

First SIFEM investment in Nepal – and first cooperation between SIFEM and SDC

The Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets (SIFEM) made its first investment in Nepal, a focus country of Switzerland’s development cooperation. SIFEM supports NMB Bank Limited with a loan of USD 12 million that will be used for lending to local businesses. This investment will give micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) access to finance and will contribute to the development of the financial sector. This transaction was made possible by a guarantee provided to SIFEM by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).


NMB Bank Limited, headquartered in Kathmandu, is one of the leading commercial banks in Nepal. The bank operates in all provinces through 163 branches and serves around 30,000 borrowers and one million depositors. Over the past years, NMB has had steady portfolio growth and shown resilience amid a challenging operating environment. 

SIFEM’s loan to NMB Bank Limited will give the Bank flexibility to provide long-term financing to MSMEs. This will support the overall resilience and recovery of the economy and preserve jobs.

First financial cooperation between SIFEM and SDC
Ambassador Thomas Gass, Assistant Director General of the SDC, stressed the importance of the newly established cooperation between SIFEM and SDC: “Thanks to a guarantee programme provided by the SDC, SIFEM should be able to invest more in Least Developed Countries such as Nepal.” In the case of NMB Bank Limited, SDC provides a first loss guarantee of up to 30% of the amount lent to the Bank, mainly to cover macroeconomic risks. The positive effect of this guarantee is amplified by synergies with other components of the Swiss development programme in Nepal. 
 
SIFEM’s Chairman, Jörg Frieden, also highlighted the importance of this new investment: “We are pleased that SIFEM was able to make its first investment in Nepal, a focus country of Switzerland’s development cooperation. The country has been hit by the pandemic and its private sector is suffering acutely from the crisis.” 


Contact: Simon Denoth, SIFEM Head of Public Affairs, sdenoth@obviam.ch, +41 31 310 09 38 

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NMB Bank Limited