The Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation (GCAF), whose head office is in Luxembourg, recently informed MicroCapital that it has disbursed three-year loans denominated in euros to two microfinance institutions. Crystal Microfinance Organization, a joint stock company in Georgia, borrowed the equivalent of USD 3.1 million. The loan follows the repayment of a smaller loan Crystal accepted from GCAF in 2014. Crystal’s products include remittances and bill payment as well as loans for business, farms, housing and consumption. The microlender is 48-percent held by Georgian NGO Crystal Fund, 38-percent by the agRIF fund of Belgium’s Incofin, 13-percent by a fund of US-based Developing World Markets and 2-percent by managers of Crystal. Crystal reports total assets of GEL 173 million (USD 69 million) and outstanding loans of GEL 145 million (USD 58 million) as of 2016.
Monte Credit, a non-banking financial institution in Montenegro, borrowed the equivalent of USD 620,000 from GCAF. Monte Credit is a unit of AgroInvest Holding, which is based in Serbia and serves a total of 50,000 families in the two countries. As of 2016, AgroInvest reports to the US-based nonprofit Microfinance Information Exchange total assets of USD 18 million, a gross loan portfolio of USD 14 million and 16,000 customers served via 17 offices. The institutions do not accept deposits. AgroInvest is owned by UK-based NGO VisionFund, which offers microfinance in 32 countries for World Vision, a US-based Christian relief and development organization.
GCAF was founded in 2008 by Credit Agricole SA, a French retail bank, and Grameen Trust, a nonprofit microfinance organization affiliated with the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh. GCAF focuses on supporting organizations that prioritize rural development, transparency, consumer protection and serving women. As of December 2017, GCAF had outstanding loans of EUR 62 million (USD 76 million) and experience with 69 partners in 28 countries in Africa and Eurasia.
Sources and Additional Resources
Direct contact with the Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation
Previous loan from GCAF to Crystal
Crystal 2016 Annual Report
World Vision’s work in Montenegro
MIX profile on AgroInvest
MIX profile on Monte Credit
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