FMO proposes $7.5m investment in Myanmar’s BRAC

Old Bagan, Myanmar. Photo by Robert Collins on Unsplash

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 the $2.5 million funding in 2018 that was provided by 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.

The microfinance institution, which started operation in 2014, has a strong focus on supporting women, 98 per cent of the 137,000 clients that they serve are women. The bank’s loan portfolio amounts to over $33 million as of June 2020.

FMO said the investment will be used to give BRAC the capability to further provide micro and small scale loans to underserved women in peri-urban areas of Myanmar.

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

Most recently, FMO committed $15 million in Myanmar’s Pact Global Microfinance Fund (PGMF), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pact Inc, is the largest microfinance institution in Myanmar, holding more than 27 per cent stake of the market share.

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

In August, FMO committed a total of $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.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.