The National- Friday, February 4, 2011
By BOSORINA ROBBY
PNG Micro finance Ltd (PML) yesterday received a courtesy visit at its Koki office from the head of shareholder International Finance Corp (IFC).
Vice-president and chief executive officer Lars Thunell was in PNG to visit IFC clients and to sign documents formalising the setting up of an IFC office outside of the World Bank umbrella.
IFC, which currently owns 19% of PML, had funded a three-year technical assistance programme that began in 2008 worth US$1.8 million (K4.7millon), to strengthen PML’s staff capacity.
The PNG Sustainable Development Program is the current majority shareholder in PML after buying off Bank South Pacific’s 40% shares last May.
After being given a tour of the premises, Thunell was briefed on operations, which PML said helped rural people engage in informal business ventures through loan capital and helped them save income.
Thunell met with four of PML’s regular customers who have been using the financing facility to boost their business ventures.
He also talked to personnel in charged of providing financing services to their clientele.
PML had already released a total of K13 million in loans through its nine branches nationwide, and had active savings accounts of similar amount.
Acting chief executive officer Tobias Thomas said PML was happy with the support IFC provided as it gave them confidence to improve financial services to the rural people.
PML is a private company that focuses on developing the informal sector and rural population, providing different loan and savings products.
Thomas said PML was the first institution IFC had invested in, followed by Digicel PNG, KK Kingston, BSP and others, bringing confidence to PML and the financial future of PNG.
Aside from assisting in giving loans and helping with savings, PML staff also assists rural entrepreneurs with basic management skills to improve and expand their ventures.