OPIC provides $5m loan to BRAC Myanmar Microfinance

Photo: BRAC.

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, has announced a $5 million loan package to BRAC Myanmar Microfinance Company Limited, operated by BRAC International.

The financing will help BRAC Myanmar provide more loans and increase financial inclusion in Myanmar, a country where less than 26 per cent of the adult population has access to formal financial services.

The loan is backed by a guarantee from BRAC USA, a member of the BRAC family. The transaction is arranged by impact investment bank, Enclude.

“The investment by OPIC will enable its further expansion in support of financial inclusion in Myanmar, with a particular focus on women,” said Donella Rapier, president and CEO of BRAC USA, the North American affiliate of BRAC.

Established in 2013, BRAC Myanmar claims it has provided loans to more than 2,500 small business, with almost 250,000 microfinance loans for women entrepreneurs.

Started in Bangladesh, BRAC International assists the most marginalized people, including women and people living in rural areas, offering programmes such as nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, education. The organization has since expanded across Asia and Africa.

The loan will support OPIC’s ‘2X Women’s Initiative’ and advances the agency’s focus on lower income countries.

OPIC’s investment in BRAC Myanmar follows an $8-million financing in Proximity Finance of Myanmar to support expanded micro lending to rural borrowers. The financing package includes a $2 million of subordinated debt from the Skoll Foundation.

Prior to that, it extended a $10 million loan to Myanmar’s Early Dawn Microfinance Ltd in May 2018, a follow-on commitment made after a $5 million loan provided in the previous year. OPIC’s first financing in Myanmar was into Apollo Towers Myanmar Limited with $250 million of loan disbursed in June 2016.

In Myanmar, BRAC has served with a loan book of $34 million with operations present across 37 townships in regions such as Yangon, Bago and Sagaing. The ticket loan size offered in Myanmar ranges between less than $100 to about $2000.

OPIC is already an existing partner of BRAC in supporting the microfinance operations in Tanzania and Uganda.

Previously, BRAC Myanmar had received loan injections from a local financial institution, Yoma Bank. In October 2018, Yoma Bank offered a K6.8 billion ($4.4 million) loan as a follow-on financing to the first tranche of K2 billion ($1.3 million) made in March 2018.

Also Read:

Yoma Bank makes $4.4m follow-on financing in BRAC Myanmar Microfinance

US-based OPIC extends $250m financing to Apollo Towers Myanmar

US agency OPIC to inject $5m debt facility in Myanmar MFI DAWN

Singapore Reporter/s

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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.