Myanmar Finance secures $1m local currency debt from Symbiotics SA

Photo: Myanmar Investments International.

Myanmar Finance International Limited (MFIL), a microfinance company, has secured a $1 million loan from Symbiotics SA, an investment advisory and portfolio management services firm, the company announced on June 26.

The local-currency denominated loan facility received from Symbiotics SA will mark MFIL securing $3 million in Kyat denominated debt facility to date.

MFIL is a joint venture between AIM-listed Myanmar Investments International Limited (MIL), Myanmar Finance Company Limited and the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund). They have a total paid up capital of approximately $5 million.

“Symbiotics is pleased to partner with MFIL to facilitate financing to local entrepreneurs and MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises). This investment will help grow our outreach in Southeast Asia and in areas where financial support is most needed,” said Anya Berezhna, South & South East Asia Regional Manager for Symbiotics. Symbiotics has invested $3.6 billion in more than 300 institutions in over 70 emerging countries.

Prior to the investment, MFIL received a $1-million local currency loan from Malaysia’s Maybank in November 2016 and a follow-on debt investment of $1 million by Maybank in May 2017.

MFIL is working on increasing its leverage to at least twice its paid-up capital within 2017 while it has received a license as a deposit-taking microfinance institution.

The debt facility will be used to further expand its loan portfolio by opening new branches including in Yangon and Bago outside their existing six branches in those regions.

“Successfully securing a loan from an international impact lender such as Symbiotics not only demonstrates the strength of MFIL’s operations, but also the appeal of its social metrics to such impact lenders,” said Aung Htun, managing director of MIL.

Started in September 2014, they have reached over 43,000 borrowers for a loan portfolio of K8.1 billion ($6 million) as of March 2017, being a compound annual growth rate of 77 percent and 145 percent respectively since the start. Their average loan size is about K181,000 ($133).

MIL has made investment in Apollo Towers, its largest investment with $21 million for a 9.3 percent shareholding and recently established a pharmacy, healthcare and personal care product franchise joint venture with an investment of $495,000 for a 45 percent stake. It is also looking forward to a possible follow-on investment in the near term.

Also Read:

MFI Myanmar Finance raises $1m debt from Maybank

Norfund picks 25% stake in AIM-listed Myanmar Investments’ microfinance JV

Norfund-backed Myanmar Finance gets $1m Maybank loan to expand MFI biz

 

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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).

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  • 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.