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.