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Suva,Fiji (29 May 2017) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and HFC Bank have signed trade finance agreements, enabling ADB’s Trade Finance Program (TFP) to provide a credit guarantee facility and revolving credit facility that can support up to USD 4 million of trade annually in Fiji.
The agreement was signed by Robert Jauncey, Regional Director for the Pacific, and Vilash Chand, HFC Bank’s Deputy Chairman.
“ADB is delighted to be partnering with HFC Bank; Fiji’s only local bank, through the Trade Finance Program,” said Steven Beck, Head of Trade Finance at ADB. “Through this facility, HFC Bank will be able to grow its trade finance operations and finance more importers and exporters, including small and medium-sized enterprises, to expand trade, growth and jobs in Fiji.”
HFC Bank is the first bank in Fiji to join ADB’s Trade Finance Program, and the fourth bank in the Pacific to join the program. TFP has operated since 2004 across Asia, and in 2015 the Government of Australia provided financial assistance for TFP to expand to the Pacific.
“This partnership with ADB –TFP will provide HFC Bank, a solid platform in the international banking arena while paving the way for our customers to venture into new global markets, using safe and reliable financial products like letters of credit and also obtain financing at competitive and attractive rates, ” said Vilash Chand, speaking at the signing ceremony.
HFC Bank is a fully fledged commercial bank serving corporate customers, small and medium sized enterprises, as well as consumer segment. The bank was founded in 1962, commenced baking operations from March 2014 and currently holds around 10% of market share in Fijian banking sector. The bank has an asset size of over FJD 835 million.
Fiji’s key exports include sugar, copra and other agricultural goods and totaled $2.1 billion or 48% of GDP in 2015. Key imports are machinery, fuels and food, accounting for $2.2 billion or 51% of GDP in 2015.
TFP, backed by ADB’s AAA credit rating, provides guarantees and loans to over 200 partner banks to support trade, enabling more companies throughout Asia to engage in import and export activities. With dedicated trade finance specialists and a 24-hour response time, the program has established itself as a key partner in the international trade community, providing fast, reliable, and responsive support to fill gaps in the region’s most challenging markets.
Raj Sharma, Acting CEO of HFC Bank said that this agreement opens a window of opportunity for HFC Bank to get access to global banking platform for the trade arrangements of our customers. He thanked the ADB, the consultant Mr. Roger Packham, RBF and his Board, Management and staff for this initiative.
TFP complements its financial support with a regular series of workshops and seminars to increase knowledge and expertise in trade finance products and operations, risk management, and fraud prevention.
Since 2009, TFP has supported more than 9,200 small and medium-sized businesses across developing Asia — through over 13,000 transactions valued at over $25.5 billion — in sectors ranging from commodities and capital goods, to medical supplies and consumer goods.
For more information, visit the TFP website: http://www.adb.org/tfp
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in cofinancing.