The Bank of Maldives has signed an agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) for a USD 41 million financing facility.
This financing project signed between the two parties is to facilitate financing for SMEs in the Maldives, with a percentage of the loan targetted towards women who run small to medium-sized businesses as well as those within the tourism sector.
Maldives has been moving towards supporting SMEs on a larger scale following the COVID-19 pandemic when people really started investing in their own small to medium-scale businesses. Following the pandemic and the work-from-home routine, many people tapped into their creativity, and as a result, we are seeing several locally owned businesses that are popular among locals as well as tourists.
During and following the COVID-19 pandemic, locals, as well as the Maldivian Government, has been encouraging SMEs by buying locally as well as through different schemes such as the SME hub that was opened in 2022.
According to a statement released by ADB, they had arranged, structured, and syndicated the entire financing package, comprising a loan of up to $13 million from ADB’s ordinary capital resources, a parallel loan of up to $13 million from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, and a parallel loan of up to $5 million from the Development Bank of Austria.
With the focus for this loan falling on SMEs, 60 percent of it will be targeted towards SMEs with 5 percent of the loan being solely focused on female-owned businesses.
BML is the largest bank in Maldives with more than 41.9 billion Maldivian Rufiyaa in assets and a network of 38 branches and 142 ATMs across all 20 atolls. BML offers a full range of banking services to its over 325,000 customers, with a leading market share in retail, corporate, and SME segments.