Daily Management Review

$300 Million Vaccine Financing To Be Provided Jointly By HSBC And Asian Development Bank


$300 Million Vaccine Financing To Be Provided Jointly By HSBC And Asian Development Bank
With a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic hitting countries like India in a major way, there are reports of a shortage of vaccines. In order to address this issue, HSBC and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have got together to give a combined financing of $300 million for helping the manufacturing supply chains of Covid-19 vaccine makers in Asia, the two banks have said on Friday.
This initiative is a follow up of the strategic policy of a risk-sharing scheme that the two banks had launched back in July last year with the aim of helping out in funding of suppliers of personal protective equipment (PPE) with these makers as well as vaccine manufacturers racing to cater to the growing global demand for both the products – which typically are in short supply.
HSBC said that it is more much easier for it and other private sector lenders to lend to companies that are present in the complex chain of vaccine supply and production by making use of the sovereign-level credit rating that is available to the ADB.
“Right now demand for vaccines far outstrips supply and one of the challenges is that supply and distribution networks have to be formed, which requires a lot of liquidity,” said Surath Sengupta, global head of financial institutions at HSBC.
Among the tools that the banks would use for lending and financing of companies engaged in PPE and vaccine production are trade loans and invoice financing, Sengupta said. This is important because countries across Asia are trying to ramp up production of Cdovid-19 vaccines in order to shorten the time required for deploy large scale inoculation programmes which typically runs into a number of years. This is important given the scale and high degree of infectious nature of the novel coronavirus. 
Even though many countries in Asia have rolled out Covid-19 vaccination programs, the speed of vaccination of their population varies between countries. According to analysts and experts, this is partly because many governments are grappling with limited supplies of Covid-19 vaccines as well as fast rising demands for the vaccines and political jockeying to secure as many doses as possible.
Last month leaders of the United States, India, Australia and Japan got together to create framework to increase financing, manufacturing and distribution capacity so that they are able to send 1 billion Covid-19 vaccines across Asia by the end of 2022, the foreign  secretary of India had said in March this year.