Standard Chartered to Establish $500 Million Microfinance Facility
, October, 06 2006 -
Standard Chartered, the British bank with investments across the developing world, announced at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), that it will invest $500 million in microfinance. The commitment, which was one of 3 that the bank made at the 2006 CGI, involves investing $100 million annually for 5 years and is estimated to eventually be distributed to 4 million micro-entrepreneurs. According the Mizinga Melu, global head of the bank's Development Organizations operation, the bank will invest the funds in several "multilaterals, bilaterals, NGOs and MFIs, mainly in Africa in Asia." Ms. Melu further stated that the bank has, "partnered with ACCION to drive the initiative." In addition to investing in MFIs, the bank will offer "training and thought leadership programs" to the partner organizations. Further information is unavailable.
The bank is listed on the London and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges and is ranked in the top 25 among FTSE-100 companies by market capitalization. 90% of its profits come from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. In 2005, the bank formalized (pg 19) its approach to the microfinance sector. In the past, it has hosted conferences on microfinance, invested in MFIs through the Rural Microfinance Development Centre, and provided microfinance directly (pg 65) to tobacco farmers in Nepal.
ACCION International, founded in 1961, is private nonprofit with operations and partners in several developing countries. As of 2005, its partners had an active loan portfolio (pg 5) of $1.34 billion. It has greatly benefited during the 2006 CGI, receiving a multimillion dollar investment from American International Group.