State-run Punjab National Bank (PNB) subsidiary PNB Housing Finance Ltd on Monday announced it has raised $100 million (around Rs 690 crore) from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) under the recently allowed automatic External Commercial Borrowing (ECB) route to finance the purchase of affordable housing projects.

“The investment was made under the central bank’s automatic route in the revamped external commercial borrowings (ECB) framework,” PNB Housing Finance said in a regulatory filing.

The company is looking forward to using the ECB route more in the coming days, it said.

The IFC is the private investment arm of the World Bank.

PNB Housing Finance Managing Director Sanjaya Gupta said this is the first ECB disbursement during the current financial year under the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) automatic route. RBI has allowed the company to avail ECB of up to $750 million annually under the automatic route.

“The RBI has allowed us to borrow ECB up to $750 million annually under the automatic route and considering the strong fundamentals and inherent growth of the company, we are hopeful that in the coming months our company will further utilise the facility,” he said.

IFC South Asia Manager – Financial Institutions Group Hemalata Mahalingam said: “To support the Indian government’s vision of Housing for All by 2022, our country strategy places a strong emphasis on the affordable housing sector.”

“Our partnership with PNB Housing Finance will help them further expand to smaller towns and cities and reach low-income customers with loans to buy homes and help raise their living standards,” she added.