The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) said its operations—comprised of approvals of loans and grants, technical assistance and cofinancing—reached an all-time high of $27.15 billion in 2015.
Provisional figures released Friday showed the Manila-based multilateral lender’s operations surged 19 percent in 2015 from the $22.89 billion in 2014.
A breakdown of the figures showed that ADB’s approvals of loans and grants, sovereign (governments) and non-sovereign (primarily private sector), reached a record $16.58 billion—a 23 percent increase from 2014.
Out of the $16.58 billion, loan and grant approvals to governments increased by 21 percent to $13.95 billion in 2015, while approvals to the private sector leaped to $2.63 billion on the back of ADB’s increased allocation to the poorest countries.
Technical assistance totaled $144 million. Cofinancing increased by 13 percent to a record $10.43 billion in 2015, the bank said.
Total disbursements of loans and grants rose to a record $12.34 billion, up 21 percent over the previous year, the bank said, stressing that unless loans and grants are disbursed, they will have no impact on development.
“Our record performance last year reflected strong and growing demand from the Asian and Pacific region,” ADB President Takehiko Nakao said.
Infrastructure and other development needs are huge and poverty remains pervasive despite the region’s robust growth performance, he added.
Last year, the ADB Board of Governors unanimously endorsed the merger of ADB’s concessional Asian Development Fund and its market-based ordinary capital resource balance sheet to help meet increased demand for its operations.
With this reform, the bank’s financing capacity is seen expanding up to $20 billion by 2020.
In 2015, ADB was also among the first multilateral development banks to commit a sizable climate finance target. In September, the lender announced it would double its annual climate financing to $6 billion by 2020, up from the current $3 billion.
To support its climate work, ADB issued its first green bond. ADB approved its first policy-based loan China to improve air quality in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area.
It also established an Office of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) to help mobilize financial resources and management skills from the private sector for infrastructure development effectively.
The PPP office offered active transaction advisory services for PPP projects in the region, such as the North-South Railway project in the Philippines, it said.
“As we approach our 50th anniversary this year, we are committed to scaling up our operations, and achieving poverty reduction and sustainable development in the region,” Nakao said.
“We will be a stronger, better and faster bank by deepening our partnerships with member countries, other international financial institutions, and civil society,” he added.