World Bank ready to assist Bandhan further

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    Kolkata, July 13 (PTI) Micro-finance institution (MFI) Bandhan which is gearing up its banking foray, has got commitment from World Bank for further assistance, its Chairman Chandra Sekhar Ghosh said. "We have assurance from the World Bank that the institution will extend further assistance to Bandhan," Ghosh told PTI.

    The country director of World Bank Onno Ruhl came to the city on July 10 and held meetings with the Bandhan borrowers and the management. "He was very pleased with the activity of Bandhan," he said. World Bank's financing arm, which holds 11 per cent stake in Bandhan, had earlier committed a Rs 160-crore infusion as Tier II capital, while SIDBI through its tie-up with Bandhan holds another 10 per cent. Ghosh said that SIDBI was also ready to either pick up further equity or provide long-term debt capital to Bandhan. "We require more debt fund. We will now work out how much will be needed," he said.

    Bandhan has a Tier I capital of Rs 1200 crore. The MFI, apart from IDFC, got an in-principle licence from the RBI in April this year to go for full-fledged banking services within a period of 18 months. "We will start banking operations before Pujas next year," Ghosh said. Meanwhile, Bandhan had appointed Deloitte as a consultant for its seamless transition from a MFI to a bank.

    PTI

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