MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GGAMF) Loans $6m to Proximity, BRAC, Vision Fund for Microlending in Myanmar

The Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based provider of financial services to social businesses, recently informed MicroCapital that it has committed to extending loans totaling the following amounts in phases over three years: the euro equivalent of USD 2.96 million to Myanmar’s Proximity Finance; the euro equivalent of USD 1.60 million to BRAC Myanmar; and the euro equivalent to USD 1.37 million to VisionFund Myanmar.

Proximity Finance is a microfinance program of Proximity Designs, a Myanmar-based nonprofit established in 2004 to reduce hunger and poverty. As of December 2015, Proximity Finance reports a total of approximately 48,000 rural customers and a loan portfolio of USD 8.4 million, a 30-percent year-over-year increase. At that time, it also had USD 13.7 million in total assets; USD 1.77 million in deposits; and 5,684,000 active borrowers.

BRAC Myanmar, a unit of Netherlands-registered Stichting BRAC International, had total assets of USD 3.5 million as of 2015 and a net loss of USD 386,000 on before-tax annual operating income of USD 479,000. For the same year, it reported return on assets of -18 percent and net equity of USD 2.6 million. BRAC International, which grew from Bangladeshi NGO Building Resources Across Communities (BRAC), provides microfinance, food security, community development, water and sanitation, disaster relief, social enterprise support and human rights advocacy in 11 countries in Asia and Africa. In 2016, BRAC International’s financial services activities encompassed total assets of USD 2.0 billion, a gross loan portfolio of USD 1.8 billion, deposits of USD 635 million, and 5.4 million active borrowers. The loan to BRAC Myanmar from GCAMF falls under the TCX/LIFT facility, which enables the provision of microloans in local-currency at subsidized rates.

VisionFund Myanmar extends credit to small-business owners in rural Myanmar. Its loan from GCAMF also falls under the TCX/LIFT facility. During 2016, VisionFund International lent USD 729 million to approximately 1.2 million people, about 75 percent of whom are women. The organization estimates that these loans supported approximately 2.4 million jobs and 4.4 million children, largely in rural areas. As a unit of US-based NGO World Vision, VisionFund seeks to create “economic resilience in communities to help children grow up with improved nutrition, healthcare and access to education.” World Vision reports serving 99 countries with 2015 revenues of USD 2.7 billion.

GCAMF was founded in Luxembourg in 2008 by Credit Agricole SA, a French retail bank, and Grameen Trust, a nonprofit microfinance organization affiliated with the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh. GCAMF focuses on supporting organizations that prioritize rural development, transparency, consumer protection and serving women. The foundation has been active in 18 countries in Africa, Asia and Europe. As of December 2014, GCAMF reported total assets of EUR 51 million (USD 57 million) and return on assets (ROA) of 6.6 percent. Since its inception through March 2016 it has invested in 46 microfinance institutions, 13 social-business projects and one fund.

By Ryan Gauthier, Research Associate

Sources and Additional Resources

Information provided directly to MicroCapital by GCAMF.

Proximity Designs:


Vision Fund Myanmar:

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The Microfinance Information Exchange:

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