International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector investment arm of the World Bank Group, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Yes Bank to float a private equity fund focused on investments in north-east India. The sector-agnostic fund will invest in small and growth enterprises (SGE) in the region. However, the size of the fund has not been disclosed.
Although sector agnostic, the new fund will look for investment opportunities in tourism & hospitality, food & agribusiness, infrastructure, healthcare, education & livelihood creation and affordable housing.
“IFC’s work to increase access to capital for small entrepreneurs in north-east India will help support inclusive growth in a low-income area, one of our top priorities,” said Jin-Yong Cai, IFC’s executive vice-president and CEO. “This initiative will leverage the expertise and resources of IFC and Yes Bank to develop long-term solutions that can be replicated in other low-income and fragile regions.”
“We believe there are substantial untapped opportunities existing in the north-eastern states of India that need to be honed by the private sector in order to create local livelihood opportunities, resulting in greater financial inclusion in the region,” said Rana Kapoor, managing director & CEO of Yes Bank.
Last year, IFC provided $75 million loan to help Yes Bank to expand its network to reach underserved people, small & medium enterprises, and agricultural borrowers in India. Given the high growth potential of north-east India and opportunities for greater inclusion, IFC has been collaborating with institutions across sectors to foster economic and social development in the region.
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)