KazMicroFinance (KMF), a microfinance institution operating in Kazakhstan, recently borrowed USD 44 million syndicated by the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) in an effort to enable KMF to expand its lending to small businesses. Of the total, IFC is providing USD 5 million, with the remainder sourced in unspecified portions from Belgium’s Incofin Investment Management, US-based MicroVest Capital Management, Switzerland’s Symbiotics and Germany’s Bank im Bistum Essen. KMF is controlled by ACDI/VOCA, a US-based NGO also known as Agricultural Cooperative Development International/Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance.
KMF offers training, individual loans and group loans in Kazakhstan. The microlender was founded in 1997 based on a microfinance project initiated by the US Agency for International Development. As of 2015, it reported a gross loan portfolio of USD 103 million and 152,000 active borrowers served via 102 branches. Of KMF’s clients, 70 percent are women, and 74 percent live in rural areas. The institution does not accept deposits.
Founded in 1963, ACDI/VOCA employs 1,300 employees working in 30 countries as of 2017. Its goal is to optimize “investment, climate-smart agriculture, empowerment & resilience, institutional strengthening, and market systems.” In Africa and Asia, it seeks to “develop multiple entry points at which market actors – smallholder farmers, agribusinesses, financial institutions – mutually benefit from enhanced financial services”. As of 2015, it reports total unaudited assets of USD 17 million.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group, offers loans, equity investments, technical assistance, and advisory and risk mitigation services to private companies with the intent of alleviating poverty and promoting open and competitive markets in developing countries. As of 2016, IFC works in 78 countries and reports total assets of USD 90 billion.
By Phoebe Rorke, Research Associate
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