The LOLC Group has gained significant expertise in the field of microfinance as an active practitioner by being the largest regulated private sector microfinance provider in Sri Lanka, as well as through its investment in PRASAC Microfinance Institution in Cambodia. It was LOLC Group’s maiden foray into overseas investment with just over a 22% stake. However, LOLC Group’s stake in PRASAC increased to 70%, when LOLC International Private Limited (a wholly-owned subsidiary of LOLC) and The Bank of East Asia Limited (BEA) acquired a majority interest in PRASAC Microfinance Institution Limited. Under the new ownership structure of PRASAC, LOLC Group holds 70%, while BEA holds 21% and 9% is held by P S Co., Ltd.
Energised by the success of its first overseas investment in Cambodia, the LOLC Group in 2013 received a license to establish and operate a deposit-taking institution in Myanmar. This achievement was significant not only for the Group but for Sri Lanka as well, as it is only the fourth license to be issued to a foreign entity by the Myanmar Microfinance Supervisory Enterprise since the establishment of the microfinance act in Myanmar in November 2011.
LOLC acquired 60% of share in Thanakea Phum (Cambodia) Ltd. in September 2014 which was renamed as LOLC (Cambodia) Ltd; the 5th largest regulated microfinance institution in Cambodia with a focus on serving entrepreneurs and families at the base of the socio-economic pyramid. With a proud history of 20 years, LOLC (Cambodia) Ltd. has become a trusted provider of financial services for Cambodians and is well-positioned to further broaden its outreach and impact across Cambodia with an experienced management team, strong governance and social commitment.
Meanwhile, the LOLC Group inked a historic joint venture with Pak Oman Microfinance Bank Limited to introduce LOLC’s exceptional and globally accepted Microfinance model to the people of Pakistan. Having observed LOLC’s uniquely effective microfinance business model and its success stories in Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Cambodia, Pak Oman Microfinance Bank Limited which is a joint venture between the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Sultanate of Oman, invited LOLC to take a majority stake in their Microfinance venture. LOLC further expanded its regional presence by entering into Indonesia in 2018 March by acquiring controlling interest of PT Sarana Sumut Ventura.
In December 2018, LOLC Group partnered with ASKI Group as majority shareholders of LOLC ASKI Finance Incorporated of Philippines. The outlook for growth will be judicious and operations will be centralised, utilising a low cost model which will share the existing branch network of ASKI’s microfinance market. LOLC ASKI Finance will cater to clients migrating to incremental loans from the ASKI network as well as non ASKI clients.
Over the years, LOLC has functioned as a catalyst in transforming communities to step up livelihoods, revolutionised industries through increased mechanisation, contributed to GDP by fuelling economic activities in the countries which it operates, and above all, uplifted societies through its sustainable inclusive financing approach. LOLC Bank Philippines was incorporated as Inter-Asia Development Bank (IADB) which was incorporated and registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 14, 1996 and started commercial operations on May 21, 1996 upon issuance by the Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas (BSP) of authority to operate as a thrift bank, with the aim of enacting its vision for financial inclusion with clear focus on catering to underserved markets. The partnership between TAO and LOLC Group will serve the strategic objective of financial empowerment and inclusive social responsibility by empowering women and micro entrepreneurs, with LOLC replicating its function as a catalyst in inclusive, sustainable development.
Also, attracted by the lucrative prospects offered by the leisure sector, the Group has made more strategic investments in popular tourist destinations within South Asia. Accordingly, a series of offshore investments in the Maldives have also been added to the development pipeline, a decision that was prompted by the potentially higher returns that could be generated through these investments in the long term.