ADB, Axis Bank to invest $150 mn in supply chain for impact sectors
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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed a deal with Axis Bank Ltd, worth up to $150 million (around Rs 1,140 crore, to back India’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the impact sectors. 

“This milestone project is ADB’s first supply chain finance transaction in India… ADB’s expansion of our supply chain finance program in India can contribute to our shared interest in developing business growth that addresses environmental, social, and governance (ESG) priorities,” said ADB Trade and Supply Chain Finance Head Steven Beck. 

“At Axis Bank, we are committed to providing accessible funding and solutions, supporting a more inclusive trade environment, and helping our corporate/SME clients with all their business needs through innovative financial products and tailored lending solutions…The enablement derived from the supply chain financing program with ADB will further boost our propositions and fortify our stronghold as a truly universal bank,” Said Amitabh Chaudhry, Managing Director and CEO of Axis Bank. 

Early this year, ADB, a Manila-based multilateral lender, joined as a limited partner (LP) in Creador, a South and Southeast Asia focused private equity (PE) firm, founded by former ChrysCapital partner Brahmal Vasudevan. 

Meanwhile, Axis Bank is India’s third-largest private sector bank with sector coverage from SMEs, large and mid-corporates, agriculture and retail businesses.  

It has operations across 4,700 domestic branches and 11,060 ATMs across the country as of 31 December 2021 with a network of 2,665 centers. 

ADB, established in 1966, makes both equity and debt investments, predominantly in South Asia and Southeast Asia. It has 68 member nations, of which 49 are from the Asia-Pacific region. 

Last year, ADB had joined as new backer for Tata Capital Growth Fund II. It had returned as LP in healthcare-focused OrbiMed.  In January 2018, ADB invested $50 million in PE True North’s sixth fund. Since then, the lender was looking to back at least one Indian PE fund every year.   

ABD has also made a few direct investments lately. Early last year, ADB Ventures, the venture arm of the Asian Development Bank, had invested in Smart Joules, a platform focused on energy efficiency. In September 2020, ADB decided to invest $15 million in Avaada Energy Private Limited. 

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