Belgium: Incofin’s Rural Impulse Fund II raises EUR 11 million in second closing

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Jun 2011
Wilrijk, Belgium, June, 01 2011 - In June 2010 Incofin Investment Management launched Rural Impulse Fund II (RIF II) with EUR 86 million to invest in microfinance institutions targeting rural areas. It is the successor fund to Rural Impulse Fund I, the world’s first microfinance facility to specialize in commercially viable rural microfinance institutions.

In the second closing today RIF II raised an additional EUR 11 million from the French DFI PROPARCO and the Nordic long-term savings and pension insurance specialist Storebrand. In the course of the second semester, Incofin Investment management will source other investors to join RIF II.

RIF II was already backed by leading public and private financial institutions and investors, including DFIs (European Investment Bank, IFC, KfW Entwicklungsbank, NMI, FMO and BIO) and a range of private banks and investors; among others BNP Paribas Fortis, VDK spaarbank, Bank fuer Kirche und Caritas and Belgian trade union ACV-CSC Metea. PROPARCO and Storebrand now join this group of high level investors.

PROPARCO (www.proparco.fr), which invests EUR 5 million in RIF II, is a French development financial institution that has been established almost 35 years ago. The DFI’s investors are the French Development Agency (l’Agence Française de Développement) and private investors in France and abroad. Storebrand (www.storebrand.no) is a leading player in the Nordic markets for pensions, life and health insurance, banking and asset management. Storebrand invests through two of its subsidiaries: Storebrand Livsforsikring AS located in Norway and SPP Livforsäkring AB from Sweden, each investing EUR 3 million.

Rural Impulse Fund II aims to become the worldwide reference for rural microfinance. It invests in institutions in Africa, Latin America, Central Asia, the Caribbean, Central and Eastern Europe, India and South East Asia. Eligible microfinance institutions must be located in developing countries and should have a presence in rural areas of at least 30%. The fund invests in a range of microfinance intermediaries, including NGOs, credit unions, microfinance banks and institutions targeting small businesses.

Rural microfinance activities are challenged by seasonality, high administration costs of small loans and limited resources. Rural Impulse Fund II mitigates these factors by a careful selection of experienced and successful institutions active in both rural and urban regions. Since the fund’s inception more than EUR 25 million has been invested in 16 microfinance institutions (MFIs) across 10 countries (Bolivia, Cambodia, Colombia, India, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Peru, Tajikistan and Zambia). Through the MFIs in its portfolio RIF II reaches 592,131 clients. On average 71% of the clients of the MFIs RIF II has invested in, are living and working in rural regions. 

Source : Incofin
 

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