MANILA, PHILIPPINES -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today signed an agreement with Standard Chartered Bank to support supply chain financing in Asia , the first partnership of its kind under ADB's recently launched Supply Chain Finance (SCF) program. The agreement is expected to finance more than $800 million in supply chain transactions, most of which will be directed through small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are supplying large companies with materials for intermediate and final production, as well as retail sales. Under the agreement, ADB and Standard Chartered Bank will share the risk in the transactions. This will in turn support the development of intra- Asia supply chains as well as supply chains between Asia and other regions of the world. "Market gaps for supply chain finance impede economic growth and job creation, so it is imperative that ADB gets into this space," said Steven Beck , ADB's Head of Trade Finance. " ADB is very pleased to sign this agreement with Standard Chartered to close market gaps in support of SME development and job creation in developing Asia ." Backed by its AAA credit rating, ADB's SCF program complements its successful Trade Finance Program (TFP). While ADB's TFP fills market gaps by providing guarantees and loans to banks, the SCF program will take commercial corporate risk and improve liquidity within the supply chains. "We are delighted to be partnering with ADB for its first supply chain risk-sharing program. This partnership is a testament to our strength in financing trade and our commitment to supporting trade flows -- the lifeblood of the global economy," said Joshua Cohen , Global Head, Liability and Risk-Weighted Assets Management at Standard Chartered . As part of the Clinton Global Initiative, Standard Chartered has also pledged to increase SME lending by approximately 45% in its footprint markets of Asia , Africa , and the Middle East over the next five years. Today's announcement builds on its commitment to offer continued flow of credit to SMEs, a sector that's vital to fuelling economic growth. ADB , based in Manila , is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members -- 48 from the region. In 2012, ADB assistance totaled $21.6 billion , including cofinancing of $8.3 billion . (( M2 Communications disclaims all liability for information provided within M2 PressWIRE. Data supplied by named party/parties. Further information on M2 PressWIRE can be obtained at http://www.presswire.com on the world wide web. Inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org )).
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