Incofin Investment Management (Incofin), a Belgian fund manager that invests in microfinance institutions (MFIs), recently reported that the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union’s financing institution, has appointed Frankfurt School of Finance, a bank training and consultancy institute in Germany, to provide technical assistance (TA) for Incofin’s Rural Impulse Fund II (RIF II). RIF II is a EUR 97 million (USD 139 million) fund that invests in MFIs targeting rural areas in developing countries. In order to improve the outreach and impact of its investees, Incofin has integrated a technical assistance facility into the fund. EIB has contributed EUR 1 million (USD 1.4 million) to the facility to support investees located in countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP). According to Incofin, the total TA budget of RIF II will amount to approximately EUR 2.5 million (USD 3.6 million).
The two objectives of the RIF II TA facility are to support the overall development of the targeted MFIs by improving operational, strategic, financial and organizational aspects and to promote innovation in rural microfinance, especially with regard to product design and outreach methodologies for rural areas.
By Carol Kim, Research Associate
About Incofin Investment Management (Incofin): Incofin is a Belgian fund manager that invests in microfinance institutions (MFIs). The Incofin funds, especially Rural Impulse Funds I and II, focus on institutions providing financial services to people in underserved areas. As of June 2011, Incofin has invested a total of EUR 182 million (approximately USD 261 million) in 101 MFIs in 39 countries.
About European Investment Bank (EIB): EIB was created in 1958 as the long-term lending bank of the European Union. In addition to supporting projects in EU member states, its main priorities include financing investments in likely future member states and EU partner countries, principally in the area of small and medium-sized enterprises. In 2010, the EIB approved projects with a total value of USD 110 billion. According to its website, “the EIB operates on a non-profit maximizing basis and lends at close to the cost of borrowing.”
Sources and Additional Resources:
“Frankfurt School of Finance as TA service provider for Rural Impulse Fund II in ACP countries”, June 2011, http://www.incofin.be/en/knowledge_center/Detail.aspx?newsId=45
MicroCapital.org: “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: PROPARCO, Storebrand Invest $15m in Incofin’s Microfinance Investment Vehicle Rural Impulse Fund I”, June 2, 2011, http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-proparco-storebrand-invest-15m-in-incofin’s-microfinance-investment-vehicle-rural-impulse-fund-ii/
MicroCapital.org: “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Belgium’s Incofin Loans $3.5m to Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) Forus Bank of Russia, CIDRE (Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo Regional) of Bolivia”, April 1, 2011, http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-belgium’s-incofin-loans-3-5m-to-microfinance-institutions-mfis-forus-bank-of-russia-cidre-centro-de-investigacion-y-desarrollo-regional-of-bolivia/
MicroCapital’s Universe Profile: Incofin Investment Management (Incofin), http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-
MicroCapital’s Universe Profile: European Investment Bank (EIB), http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=European+Investment+Bank+%28EIB%29
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