Karandaaz Pakistan, Meezan Bank Join Hands with Atlas Honda to Deepen Access to Finance for Small and Mid-Size Vendors and Distributors
Atlas Honda Limited today signed a corporate partnership agreement with Karandaaz Pakistan and Meezan Bank Limited to support the development of small and mid-size automotive part vendors in Pakistan. This is the first corporate partnership Karandaaz Pakistan and Meezan Bank have entered as part of the PKR 9 billion Corporate Vendor and Distributor Finance Program launched recently. The partnership will strengthen Atlas Honda’s supply chain and distribution channels by providing access to finance (capital investment and expansion working capital financing) for Atlas Honda’s small and mid-size vendors and distributors with growth potential. By identifying local vendors and distributors with profitable growth potential and good operating and credit history, Atlas Honda will help identify and direct credit to strategic vendors and distributors and promote localization of automotive parts and broad based employment growth in Pakistan.
The signing took place at Atlas Honda’s head office in Karachi in the presence of senior management from all three partner organisations, including Mr. Saquib H. Shirazi, CEO Atlas Honda Limited, Mr. Ariful Islam, Deputy CEO & Executive Director of Meezan Bank and Mr. Asad Azfar, Chief Investment Officer at Karandaaz Pakistan.
Mr. Saquib H. Shirazi, CEO Atlas Honda Limited stated, “In the early years, industry in Pakistan owed its development to the support it received from the public sector DFIs. The role of institutions like IDBP, NDFC, BEL and PIDC can not be overstated. Later, Private sector institutions, supported by the World Bank and ADB, tried to bridge the financing gap for SME financing. Unfortunately, the results were mixed and a financing vacuum still exists. The initiative taken by Karandaaz and Meezan Bank is, therefore, timely and well targeted. As Atlas Honda’s vendor and service providers look to expand, the support from the two institutions can be an effective catalyst for their growth.” he added.
Mr. Ariful Islam, Deputy CEO & Executive Director of Meezan Bank, expressed the Bank’s utmost commitment to this partnership with Karandaaz Pakistan. He stated,
I am both delighted and humbled by the fact that Meezan Bank has been chosen by Karandaaz Pakistan, a company that is principally sponsored by United Kingdom Department for International Development (UKAid) and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to partner with it to provide finance to the Small & Medium Sized sector of the economy. We are committed to promoting this very important segment of the economy and our role is to provide risk capital and infrastructure to implement the Program successfully.
In his remarks, Mr. Asad Azfar, CIO Karandaaz Pakistan noted,
The Program is designed to leverage the visibility and influence of apex corporates and enable commercial banks to provide capital investment and expansion working capital financing to small and mid-size companies operating in the organized supply chains of the economy. These small businesses are vital agents of of broad-based economic and employment growth and have had limited access to finance in Pakistan. The leadership and support of Atlas Honda in encouraging and supporting this Program is truly exciting and we look forward to adding more apex corporates to our partnership with Meezan Bank to finance SMEs at a large scale.
About Atlas Honda
Atlas Honda Limited, established in 1963, is a joint venture between the Atlas Group and Honda Motor Co. Ltd., Japan and is the largest manufacturing and marketing company for the sale of motorcycles in Pakistan. The Company has two production plants – one in Karachi and the second near Lahore and is involved in the manufacturing of various hi-tech components in collaboration with leading parts manufacturers.
AHL has undertaken to develop local manufacturing capabilities to the highest, economically feasible level. While a major role in localization has been assigned to vendor industries, the Company has the country’s largest in-house manufacturing capabilities at its production plants. Further, it has also executed various technical arrangements between local vendors and foreign manufacturers for transfer of technology.
About Meezan Bank
Meezan Bank is the 8th largest bank in Pakistan and the leading Islamic bank of the country. The Bank provides a comprehensive range of Islamic banking products and services through a retail banking network of more than 485 branches supported by a countrywide network of over 400 ATMs, Visa Debit cards, a 24/7 Call Center, Internet Banking and Mobile Banking facility.
Meezan Bank has consistently been recognized as the Best Islamic Bank in Pakistan by numerous local and international institutions, which is a testimony of the Bank’s commitment to excellence. These institutions include Islamic Finance News – Malaysia, Global Finance magazine – New York, Asset AAA – Hong Kong, Asiamoney – Hong Kong, The Banker – United Kingdom and CFA Association – Pakistan.
The JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited, an affiliate of Japan Credit Rating Agency, Japan has reaffirmed the Bank’s long-term entity rating of AA (Double A) and short-term rating at A1+ (A One Plus) with stable outlook. The rating indicates sound performance indicators of the Bank. Meezan Bank is the only Islamic bank with AA credit rating in the Islamic banking industry in Pakistan.