FMO mulls $3m investment in Myanmar-based MFI Maha

A farmer with his son in his field in Myanmar. Photo: Sasint/Pixabay

Dutch development bank FMO has proposed a $3-million investment in Maha, a deposit-taking financial service provider (licensed MFI) operating in rural areas of Myanmar, according to a disclosure.

This investment follows the $3 million in 2019 that was provided by MASSIF, the financial inclusion fund that FMO manages on behalf of the Dutch government.

Myanmar Awba Group, manufacturer and distributor of agricultural technology products, owns 87 per cent stake in Maha while International Finance Corporation owns the rest.

Maha, which started operations in 2014, currently operates 32 branches across 8 regions and provides financial services to more than 40,000 clients, 93 per cent of whom are farmers. Maha has total assets of approximately $40 million as of December 2019.

FMO said that the investment will further support Maha in reaching out to its farmers and small business owners in rural Myanmar.

“This transaction is highly inclusive, with a strong strategic fit with MASSIF and FMO […] Additionality of the project is high, thanks to FMO being able to provide long term financing in a country where funding is still very scarce,” the international lender said in the disclosure.

According to FMO, Myanmar is one of the poorest countries in SE Asia with a GDP per capita of $1,263 and is on the UN Least Developed Countries list. It is an emerging market with approximately 51.5 million people, of which 70 per cent live in rural areas.

Most recently, FMO proposed to offer a grant of $438,075 to One to Watch (OTW), an impact investment management company based in the Netherlands with subsidiaries in Nepal and Myanmar.

Last September, FMO proposed an investment totaling $10 million in Myanmar conglomerate Yoma Strategic Holdings. Earlier, the lender proposed a $13.5-million investment to help develop Mandalay City, Myanmar’s second-largest city, through the Mandalay City Development Committee.

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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.