Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has signed an agreement for PKR 4 Billion Unsecured Subordinated Debt Facility (Tier 2 capital) with U Microfinance Bank (U Bank), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of PTCL. This capital injection will enable the bank to further capitalize on the growth opportunities possible in Pakistan’s microfinance sector. In the constantly changing competitive landscape, this Tier 2 facility will enable U Bank to expand its current customer reach for serving the under-served population. U Microfinance Bank plans to utilize these funds in its business operations and expansion plans. Serving its customers through disruptive innovation and digitization, the bank will focus on achieving its growth targets.Not only will it enable the bank to utilize additional capital with flexibility as it grows, the debt amount will also contribute towards U Bank’s Supplementary/ Tier 2 Capital for Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) as per the guidelines for Microfinance banks that are set out by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). On the occasion, Dr. Daniel Ritz, President &CEO PTCL, and Chairman U Microfinance Bank, said, “Seeing the potential in U Microfinance Bank’s ability to further expand and grow, PTCL has taken the decision to further inject Tier II capital into the bank. This is in line with PTCL’s commitment to support Pakistan and its economy as a whole.”Expressing his views, U Microfinance Bank’s President & CEO, Kabeer Naqvi, said, “U Microfinance Bank has been successfully enabling underserved Pakistanis and has been positively contributing towards poverty alleviation and economic empowerment. This Tier 2 injection is a testament to our sponsor’s confidence in our ability to deliver positive results. It also reiterates PTCL’s commitment towards contributing to the economic uplift & enablement of Pakistan.” Currently, U Microfinance Bank serves more than 850,000 customers, where 22% of the served customers are women. By the end of 2018, U Bank’s deposit portfolio grew from PKR 11.97 billion to PKR 19.0 billion, while the loan portfolio grew from PKR 10.6 billion to PKR 17.0 Billion. Most significantly, the number of employees increased from to 1,321 to 1,980, where 9% of the total work force comprises of women.PTCL & U Microfinance Bank are at the forefront of fighting poverty in Pakistan and will continue to play their role in improving the economic situation of the people of Pakistan.Published in Daily Times, January 1st 2019.