MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: FMO, Proparco Lend $30m to BPR to Serve More SMEs via Larger Branch Network, Digital Banking

The Netherlands Development Finance Company, a government-backed institution also known by its Dutch acronym FMO, and Proparco, a subsidiary of the French government’s Agence Française de Développement (AFD), each recently loaned USD 15 million to Banque Populaire du Rwanda (BPR), a unit of the British Virgin Island’s-based Atlas Mara Group. Proparco served as “the mandated lead arranger” of the loan.

BPR is to use the funding to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by increasing the number of branches it operates in urban and rural areas of Rwanda to facilitate better access to both standard banking products as well as “fintech and digital banking.”

FMO Chief Investment Officer Linda Broekhuizen said, “Sustainable economic growth starts with creating opportunities for individuals. Helping BPR support more entrepreneurs and businesses to flourish by offering them the means they need, is key to FMO’s strategy. Doing that together with Proparco, is a win-win situation for all of us.”

Launched in 1975, BPR provides financial services to micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises in Rwanda. As of 2017, BPR has 191 branches, 1,600 employees and 400,000 active clients.

Founded in 1970, FMO seeks to abolish extreme poverty, increase equality and support measures that reduce climate change. It reports total assets of EUR 8.5 billion (USD 9.5 billion) and EUR 219 million (USD 245 million) in profit before taxes for the year 2016.

Established in 1977, Proparco works in 80 countries with a focus on energy-based infrastructure, agribusiness, financial services, health and education across. As of 2017, it had EUR 5.4 billion (USD 6.3 billion) in outstanding investments.

By Aleks Marceau, Research Associate

Sources and additional resources

FMO press release:

BPR home page:

Atlas Mara home page:

Proparco home page:

FMO home page:

FMO company profile:

MicroCapital on FMO in the Middle East and North Africa:

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