Incofin Investment Management, a Belgian fund manager that invests in microfinance institutions (MFIs), has raised EUR 11 million (USD 15.8 million) for Rural Impulse Fund II, which invests in MFIs in developing countries that have at least 30 percent of their operations in rural areas. PROPARCO (Société de Promotion et de Participation pour La Coopération Economique), a French development finance institution (DFI), has invested EUR 5 million (USD 7.2 million) in Rural Impulse Fund II. Storebrand, a Norwegian financial services provider, has invested EUR 6 million (USD 8.5 million) in the fund through two subsidiaries: Storebrand Livsforsikring AS of Norway and SPP Livforsäkring AB of Sweden.
The fund is a successor to Incofin’s Rural Impulse Fund I, a EUR 30 million (USD 38 million) fund that was launched in August 2007 and invests in MFIs deemed commercially viable. Incofin’s Rural Impulse Fund II was launched in June 2010 with EUR 86 million (USD 105 million) from numerous DFIs, private banks and investors including the European Investment Bank (EIB), the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) and BNP Paribas Fortis of Belgium, among others.
As of May 31, 2011, Rural Impulse Fund II has invested EUR 25 million (USD 35 million) in 10 countries and 16 MFIs with an aggregate outreach of 592,000 clients.
By Rohan Trivedi, Research Associate
About Incofin Investment Management (Incofin IM):
Incofin Investment Management is a private Belgian company that develops and manages funds investing in microfinance institutions (MFIs) in developing countries. As of May 2011, Incofin manages six facilities with total assets of EUR 300 million (approximately USD 425 million). To date, Incofin has invested a total of EUR 158 million (approximately USD 225 million) in 91 MFIs in 38 countries.
About The Incofin Rural Impulse Funds (RIFs):
The Incofin Rural Impulse Funds (RIF) were launched by Incofin Investment Management to invest in rural microfinance institutions (MFIs) that are deemed commercially viable. The two funds include Rural Impulse Fund I and Rural Impulse Fund II. They target both farm and non-farm populations in small towns and villages. The funds invest primarily through loans, though they make equity investments and guarantees as well. Rural Impulse Fund I has invested EUR 30.8 million (approximately USD 40.6 million) in MFIs across 19 countries as of November 2010. Rural Impulse Fund II, on the other hand, has raised EUR 86 million (USD 105 million) of its stated goal of EUR 120 million (USD 170 million) in assets and has invested EUR 25 million (approximately USD 35 million) in 16 MFIs across 10 countries as of May 2011.
Established in 1977, Société de Promotion et de Participation pour La Coopération Economique (PROPARCO – The Investment and Promotions Company for Economic Cooperation) is a development finance institution based in Paris, France, that is jointly held by the Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD), a development finance institution of the French government, and private shareholders. PROPARCO’s mission is “to be a catalyst for private investment in developing countries which targets growth, sustainable development and reaching the [United Nations’] Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).” In 2009, PROPARCO disbursed EUR 1.1 billion (USD 1.4 billion) for 80 projects in 30 countries.
Storebrand is a Norwegian financial institution with operations in the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Storebrand’s core products are life insurance, property and casualty insurance, asset management and banking. As of December 31, 2010, Storebrand reported total assets of NOK 390 billion (USD 66 billion).
Sources and Additional Resources:
 Press Release submitted by Incofin to MicroCapital, May 2011
MicroCapital.org story, June 8, 2010: “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: The European Investment Bank, The International Finance Corporation (IFC), KfW Entwicklungsbank, The Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO), The Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) and Incofin Investment Management Launch Rural Impulse II, a Rural Microfinance Fund”, http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-the-european-investment-bank-the-international-finance-corporation-ifc-kfw-entwicklungsbank-the-belgian-investment-company-for-developing-countries-bio-the-netherlands-deve/
MicroCapital Universe Profile: Incofin Investment Management (Incofin IM), http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Incofin+Investment+Management+%28Incofin+IM%29
MicroCapital Universe Profile: Incofin Rural Impulse Funds (RIFs), http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Incofin+Rural+Impulse+Funds+%28RIFs%29
MicroCapital Universe Profile: PROPARCO, http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=PROPARCO
MicroCapital Universe Profile: Storebrand, http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Storebrand
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