ASA to open 300 SME branches in 2011

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=168141

ASA to open 300 SME branches in 2011
Star Business Desk

ASA, one of the largest microfinance institutions in Bangladesh, will open 300 branches across the country in 2011 to cater small entrepreneurs.

The organisation also plans to disburse Tk 8,000 crore in loans to restructure credit schemes to make them more flexible for clients.

The plans were disclosed at the MFI’s three-day annual coordinating meeting at Cox’s Bazar on December 29-30, the company said in a statement yesterday. ASA President Md Shafiqual Haque Choudhury attended the programme as the chief guest.

“Scholarship, health, sanitation and solar programmes of ASA will be extended to cover more people in 2011,” said Choudhury, also a former caretaker government adviser.

In the New Year, the MFI will also start 500 irrigation schemes using solar power.

Over 150 delegates from districts and head office of the institution including top officials and directors participated in the event.

Since its inception in 1978, ASA has extended its outreach in the country through 3,236 branches. Its 24,021 employees serve over 55 lakh clients.

Microenterprise clients of ASA now account for over 10 percent of its clients and about 30 percent of its total loans outstanding.

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