SKS Microfinance, a Hyderabad-based non-banking finance company, has received a strategic investment of Rs 50 crore from general and life insurance firm Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance. SKS Microfinance and Bajaj Allianz partnered in April 2008 to launch India’s first micro-insurance product for the rural poor.
With this investment, SKS Microfinance will further improve its capital adequacy ratio requirements. In recent months, SKS has introduced a range of mainstream financial instruments into microfinance. It has issued non-convertible debentures (NCDs) worth Rs 25 crore that were fully subscribed by Yes Bank and also completed a rated pool securitisation deal worth Rs 100 crore.
It has also issued commercial papers worth Rs 25 crore and tied up with Standard Chartered to raise Rs 75 crore from the debt capital market and became the first MFI to list its debt security. “An investment in SKS by a mainstream investor such as Bajaj Allianz is a vote of confidence in the company and in microfinance.
Investment from a leading private insurer gives SKS greater stability and credibility, as well as a stronger capital base to extend our reach to serve more poor customers,” SKS founder and chairman Vikram Akula stated in a press release on Thursday. SKS Microfinance currently has a membership base of 4.5 million households and has cumulatively disbursed loans worth over Rs 8,000 crore. It has staff strength of 14,249 across 1,439 branches in 19 Indian states.