Loan agreement

Symbiotics Investments closed the first local currency transaction in Pakistan with Kashf Foundation

July 24, 2023
The first-ever local currency loan by any international institution in the microfinance sector of Pakistan will serve low-income families and micro-entrepreneurs and alleviate household poverty in the country.

Symbiotics Investments has arranged a local currency loan (Pakistani rupees) for Kashf Foundation “KF”, one of the largest non-deposit taking microfinance institution providing micro credit and micro-insurance facilities in Pakistan, via the SEB Microfinance Funds.This transaction represents the first-ever local currency loan by any international institution in the microfinance sector of Pakistan. Until recently, loans from international lenders were solely in hard currencies. 

KF is driven by its mission to deliver high quality and sustainable microfinance services to low-income families and micro-entrepreneurs, aiming to enhance their financial capabilities and alleviate household poverty in the country. With a particular focus on women, who represent 99.5% of its loan portfolio, KF strives to empower them to become active catalysts of social and economic change.

“By successfully concluding this milestone transaction, Symbiotics Investments demonstrates its innovative ability to offer local currency loans, thereby safeguarding KF against currency risks, thanks to the large basket of currencies of our local currency investment funds. We take pride in being the pioneer international lender to offer a local currency loan, and we hope that this deal will pave the way for a further flow of investments to support the untapped microfinance sector.”, said Vincent Lehner, Head of Markets at Symbiotics Investments.

“We are really proud to finance this very social institution with its holistic framework for supporting primarily women, at the base of the pyramid. As KF provides small business loans in local currency, we reduce the credit risk of the MFI by lending in local currency while simultaneously continuing to diversify our local currency portfolios.”, said Hanna Holmberg who manages the SEB Microfinance Funds along with Camilla Löwenhielm. 

“This funding line will help us in taking our mission forward and reaching many more such families who deserve to access funding and bring positive change in their lives. This transaction is one of its kind and it has set the tone for accessing funding from the international market in a local currency, thus helping us in minimizing the currency exposure on our balance sheet. I look forward to further work with Symbiotics Investments to further strengthen this part of our relationship and diversify our funding relationship with the investors.“, said Shahzad Iqbal, Chief Finance Officer, Kashf Foundation.


About Symbiotics Investments
Symbiotics is the leading market access platform for impact investing, dedicated to private markets in emerging and frontier economies. The group offers investment, asset management and capacity building services. Since 2005, Symbiotics Investments has originated over 7,500 investments representing more than USD 9.4 billion for 574 companies in 94 countries.

About Kashf Foundation
Kashf is registered as a Non-Banking Micro Finance Company which is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan. Kashf was set up in 1996 as the first specialized microfinance institution of Pakistan and began operations as a Grameen replicator. Since then Kashf has successfully carved out a distinct and unique niche for itself in the microfinance sector at home and abroad by offering a suite of innovative and transformative products and services to low-income households especially women. Kashf offers appraisal backed individual lending to its clients along with other non-financial services to have a transformative impact at the household level.  So far, the Foundation has been able to disburse to over 6.5 million borrowers loans worth of USD 810 million. The Foundation is operating through its 382 branches spread across all provinces of Pakistan.


For more information, contact:
Samy Derradji, Head of Corporate Communication, Symbiotics

Shahzad Iqbal, Chief Finance Officer, Kashf Foundation