While the Brazilian microfinance market has seen significant growth since President Inacio Lula da Silva took power in 2002, a recent article estimates the market has reached two percent penetration . Since his election, the number of microborrowers in Brazil has increased from 159,000 to 809,000 with a total of BRL 775.5 million (USD 426 million) in outstanding loans. Growth is expected to continue with increased interest in this market from established banking institutions such as Banco Santander, Unibanco and Banco Real.
In January of 2010, ACCION International, a US-based nonprofit with partner microfinance institutions in 23 South American countries, established ACCION Microfinancas in Brazil . At roughly the same time, Financiera Independencia, a Mexican MFI focusing on group lending in rural areas, acquired Financiera Finsol, a leading MFI with Brazilian operations holding a loan portfolio of BRL 28.7 million (USD 16.4 million) .
By Matthew Castner, Research Assistant
About ACCION International:
ACCION was founded in 1961 and issued its first microloan in 1973 in Brazil. ACCION’s partner microfinance institutions today are providing loans as low as USD 50 to poor men and women entrepreneurs in 23 countries in Latin America, Asia, Africa and the United States. In the last decade, ACCION partners have disbursed more than 28.5 million loans totaling USD 23.4 billion; 97 percent of the loans have been repaid.
About Financiera Independencia:
Founded in 1993, Financiera Independencia is a Mexican microfinance institution traded on the Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV: FINDEP). As of December 31, 2009, Financiera Independencia has a total outstanding loan balance of MXP 4.8 billion (USD 380 million), operates 199 offices in 143 cities throughout 31 of Mexico’s 32 federal entities and has a total labor force of 9,643 people.
 “Microfinance in Brazil,” by Ruban Selvanayagam, http://www.articlebliss.com/Art/402060/6/Microfinance-in-Brazil.html
 MicroCapital: “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: ACCION International Gets Green Light from Brazil’s President to Launch New Microfinance Organization in Amazonas,” by Hio Kyeng Lee, January 29, 2010, http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-accion-international-gets-green-light-from-brazils-president-to-launch-new-microfinance-organization-in-amazonas/
 MicroCapital: “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Mexican Microfinance Institution (MFI) Financiera Independncia Closes $41m Acquisition of Financiera Finsol,” by Stefanie Rubin, March 1, 2010, http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-mexican-microfinance-institution-mfi-financiera-independencia-closes-41m-acquisition-of-financiera-finsol/
MicroCapital’s Microfinance Universe profile: ACCION International: http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=ACCION+International
MicroCapital’s Microfinance Universe profile: Financiera Independencia: http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Financiera+Independencia
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