World Bank (WB) has announced a project to promote housing finance in Pakistan. This project will help improve conventional mortgage lending; lower-income housing and improvement of housing policy in general.
This was disclosed by a World Bank delegation which is currently visiting Pakistan. The WB delegation, led by Senior Financial Economis, Korotoumou Ouattara, called on the President and CEO of National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) Saeed Ahmad. Other members of the delegation include, Senior Housing Finance Specialist Andrey Milyutin , Financial Specialist Nouma Dione and Housing Finance Adviser Olivier Hassler.
The meeting’s purpose was to discuss overall growth of the Housing Finance Market in Pakistan, its issues, challenges and possible solutions. The WB team apprised that in coordination with key stakeholders they will assist Pakistan for development of this market and were preparing a Housing Finance Project.
The project aims to extend,
- Support to expand conventional mortgage lending;
- Support to increase lower-income housing finance;
- Capacity building and technical assistance for housing policy.
Additionally Pakistan Mortgage Refinance Company (PRMC) talked to banks for providing support for on-lending.
Korotoumou Ouattara explained the importance of increased lending to households particularly the low-income segment. She also stressed on the importance of this sector and its overall contribution towards country’s economic development.
Kokularupan, MD & CEO from PMRC, explained to the forum, the role of their company in establishing and promoting a fixed rate mortgage market, reducing maturity mismatch risk for banks and the development of local capital market through regular issuance of conventional and Islamic debt instruments.
President of NBP assured the World Bank team as well as PMRC management of his fullest cooperation in working with them for overcoming the challenges and providing all possible support for development of housing finance in Pakistan.
Saeed Ahmad also gave an overview of the challenges that face Pakistani Housing Finance market. He said that mortgage was facing recovery, foreclosure laws, infrastructure, cost of funding and affordability and other issues. He added,
Affordable housing segment offers an opportunity for the financial sector to expand its portfolio on a secured and profitable basis. This will help further improve other industries, generate employment and contribute to growth on an ongoing basis.
NBP CEO also said that a public private partnership to tackle housing solutions for low income segment of the society will help solve housing problems and eliminate Slums (Kachi Abadis). These are creating various social problems including un-lawful activities. He continued,
Specialist housing finance institution does not seem to be playing its due role and should be strengthened with sufficient capital, management and technical resources. This sector requires special focus to overcome these challenges where Islamic banks and Islamic financing products could prove to be pivotal in its development.
PMRC, along with World Bank, is planning to sign a MOU in the near future with the National Bank of Pakistan and other commercial banks to implement the above mentioned strategies in Pakistan’s financial sector.