Bandhan Financial Services has recently secured in principal approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to set up a bank and the player has generated Rs 160cr of debt from International Finance Corporation (IFC) to diversify its resource base. IFC, a 10.9 percent shareholder in India's largest micro lender, has subscribed to the company's subordinated debt for seven years, Chairman and Managing Director, Chandra Shekhar Ghosh said, adding that this is the first capital infusion for Bandhan after it received RBI's nod to set up a bank and that the fund was raised at 14.5cr annual cost and the capital would help the MFI leverage more bank loans.
IFC's investment comes within 6 months of raising Rs 100cr debts from a Geneva-based investor. The Kolkata-based MFI has a net worth of Rs 1,100cr with pure equity of Rs 96cr. The company is now transforming itself into a bank and may need investment to set up branches and build IT infrastructure and has recently engaged Ogilvy & Mather to help improve its brand value since it plans to start operating as a full-fledged bank from early next fiscal, he added.