Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: Citi India announced a three-year programme with the Indian School of Business (ISB) to study, develop and recommend measures that would promote financial inclusion and improve access to capital markets for small investors and enterprises.

Citi Foundation committed a US $ 1.5-million grant to the Centre for Analytical Finance (CAF) at the ISB over a period of three years. The objective of this programme was to support changes that would have a positive impact on emerging financial markets and participants, including small investors, SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and micro entrepreneurs. CAF would formulate recommendations to support regulators, practitioners, academics, and other opinion leaders to implement financial development in the country.

Announcing Citi’s support for this partnership on Thursday, Sanjay Nayar, CEO, Citi India, said, two-thirds of the population was unconnected to the formal banking and financial system. Government, private organisations, NGOs and individuals have undertaken several initiatives to improve access to capital markets for small investors and enterprises. There was a need to understand the impact these initiatives and to identify key issues to facilitate all-inclusive growth.

M. Rammohan Rao, Dean, ISB, said that there was a critical need to ramp up financial growth in rural areas which remained low in spite of the overall economic growth rate of over eight per cent.