Lebanon Businessnews News

Saradar Bank buys half of
Vitas microfinance company
Saradar aims to gain a foothold

in the microfinance market

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Saradar Bank said it has acquired a 49 percent stake in microfinance company Vitas SAL, a local subsidiary of the US-based Vitas Group. The transaction was valued at around $3.7 million according to a source linked to the transaction. Both Saradar and Vitas refused to confirm this figure.

In a statement, the bank said that the move will allow it to gain a foothold in the promising local microfinance market.

Vitas SAL, which launched its operations 17 years ago, has so far issued over 200,000 microloans valued at $350 million. Last year, Vitas processed around 20,000 loans with an estimated net profit of $3 million.

The company provides its services to entrepreneurs and low-income individuals through its own network of branches and through retail banks. The company operates 60 points of sale and 530 collection points.

Mario Saradar, Chairman and CEO of Saradar Bank, said: “The transaction is expected to result in substantial synergies between both entities leveraging on the network of Saradar Bank, its sister companies and subsidiaries in addition to [granting] access to capital to fund Vitas’ future business needs.”

Vitas SAL will contribute “best international practices, standardized procedures in credit, risk management, and human resources, as well as established relationships with international financial institutions,” according to the statement.

Elissa McCarter LaBorde, CEO at Vitas Group said, “This partnership will allow us to leverage Saradar’s infrastructure to exponentially expand Vitas Lebanon’s presence and product offerings across the country.”

Saradar Bank provides private, commercial, and retail banking services through a network of 19 branches. The bank was created in mid-2016 through the merger of Banque de l’Industrie et du Travail (BIT) and Near East Commercial Bank (NECB).
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
Date Posted: Aug 25, 2017
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