LOLC with its robust MSME-based Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises business model is expanding its global footprint with three parallel investments being made in Tajikistan in Central Asia as well as Malawi and Tanzania in East Africa.
LOLC enters Central Asia with its maiden investment in the region through the acquisition of a 75% stake in a company known as Karat, (LLC LTMKh and LLCTMKhL) with a license authorizing them to conduct micro lending and gold loan business in Tajikistan. Tajikistan, with a population of 9.5+Mn people and a lower GDP Per capita of US$859 presents tremendous potential for rolling out the LOLC’s highly successful MSME model that specializes in serving bottom-of- the-pyramid clientele. LOLC will increase its equity stake in the Company to 100% by the year end.
Meanwhile the LOLC Group’s successful microfinance operations in Nigeria and Zambia have provided the impetus for the Group to further deepen its presence in the African continent through strategic acquisitions of two microfinance companies in Malawi and Tanzania. In Malawi, the Group acquired 100% equity stake of Express Credit Limited, while in Tanzania the Group secured a 96% stake of Tujijenge Tanzania Ltd. Malawi with its population of 19+Mn people and low GDP per capita of US$625 and Tanzania with 58+Mn people and GDP per capita of US$1,077, are both deemed to be highly conducive markets for MSME business, thus paving the way for rapid growth and long-term value creation for the Group.
Commenting on the significance of LOLC’s global expansion strategy, Deputy Chairman – Ishara Nanayakkara stated that, “Expanding our microfinance model globally is not only about pursuing our commercial ambition, but doing so in a sustainable and socially responsible manner to deliver tangible benefits to those communities at the bottom-of-the-pyramid, who are often overlooked by the formal financial system. I believe the impact we are creating in Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Myanmar, speaks volumes about how our business model is doing just that. How we are holistically responding to the needs of these communities by promoting financial inclusion, empowering women and reducing socioeconomic disparity, in turn triggers broader economic change. It is this formula which has delivered socioeconomic progress for the community and continues to bring commercial success for the Group, that we are looking to replicate through our global expansion strategy. “