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DealStreetAsia

Dutch bank proposes further investment in Myanmar's BRAC

$7.5m from FMO to focus on impact investments in areas hit hard by COVID-19

FMO says BRAC will use the investment to provide more micro- and small loans to underserved women.   © Reuters

HANOI -- Dutch development bank FMO has proposed a $7.5 million investment in BRAC Myanmar Microfinance Company Limited (BRAC), a Myanmar-based for-profit institution, according to its disclosure.

The investment follows $2.5 million in funding that BRAC received in 2018 from Massif, the financial inclusion fund that FMO manages on behalf of the Dutch government.

BRAC, a wholly owned subsidiary of BRAC International Holdings BV, provides micro- and small-scale loans, small enterprise loans, agri-loans and loans to people with disabilities.

Since it opened in 2014, BRAC has focused on supporting women. Of its 137,000 clients, 98% are women. The bank's loan portfolio in June was more than $33 million.

FMO said BRAC will use the investment to provide more micro- and small loans to underserved women.

"This loan is highly inclusive and supports FMO's strategy because the funds will go to financially underserved women in the peri-urban areas in Myanmar, a low-income, fragile state," the lender said in the disclosure.

Most recently, FMO committed $15 million in Myanmar's Pact Global Microfinance Fund, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pact Inc., Myanmar's largest microfinance institution, with more than a 27% share of the market.

Earlier, the Dutch impact investor proposed a $3 million investment in Maha, a deposit-taking financial service provider operating in rural areas of Myanmar, to further support Maha in reaching out to farmers and small business owners.

In August, FMO committed $33.3 million to businesses that operate in Asia's developing economies that are expected to be hit hard by the pandemic.

The commitment was part of the more than $300 million that the impact investor allocated to companies globally as part of its business continuity program in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the original story from DealStreetAsia, click here.

DealStreetAsia is a financial news site based in Singapore that focuses on corporate investment activity in Asia especially Southeast Asia and India. Nikkei owns a majority stake in the company.

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