MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Myanmar Finance International Borrows $2m from Maybank, Symbiotics for Microfinance

Myanmar Finance International Limited (MFIL), a microfinance institution owned by Myanmar Investments International Limited (MIIL), Myanmar Finance Company Limited (MFCL) and the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund), recently announced that it has secured a local-currency loan facility worth USD 1 million from Switzerland-based Symbiotics. MFIL intends to use the facility to “further expand its loan portfolio and outreach,” by opening additional branches in the cities of Bago and Yangon. MFIL also recently borrowed USD 1 million from Malaysia-based Malayan Banking Berhad (Maybank). The loan from Maybank follows another loan of the same amount from Maybank to MFIL in November 2016 [6].

MFIL, which provides microfinance via seven branches, was established in 2014 by MIIL and MFCL [3]. Each of those institutions have held 37.5-percent stakes in MFIL since Norfund purchased 25 percent of the shares of the microlender in 2015. Norfund was created by the Norwegian Parliament in 1997 and provides investment capital, loans and guarantees to businesses in developing countries [2, 4, 5].

MIIL is a Myanmar-focused investment company that is registered in the British Virgin Islands and has offices in Singapore and Myanmar. The company’s shares are traded on the Alternative Investment Market, an affiliate of the London Stock Exchange [3].

Founded in 2004, Switzerland-based Symbiotics provides for-profit investment intermediary and business services to investors in and practitioners of micro-, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) development. As of 2016, Symbiotics manages USD 1.3 billion in assets held through 20 funds, financing 1.3 million small businesses and low- and middle-income households in 56 countries. The company also offers Syminvest, a microfinance investment information platform [1].

Maybank offers investment banking, investment management and financial advisory services to corporations, financial institutions and retail clients. Founded in 1960, the firm is headquartered in the city of Kuala Lumpur and maintains offices in 20 countries [7]. As of 2016, Maybank reported total assets of MYR 736 billion (USD 172 billion), return on assets of 0.93 percent and return on equity of 11 percent [8].

By Matthew O’Neill, Research Associate

Sources and Additional Resources:

Myanmar Finance International Limited:

[1] MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Symbiotics Issues Bonds Supporting SME, Rural Finance: $12m for Costa Rica’s Banco Improsa, $10m for Indonesia’s Mitra Bisnis Keluarga (MBK) Ventura, $6m for Armenia’s Armeconombank:

[2] MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Myanmar Investments International Announces Joint Venture with Microfinance Institution (MFI) Myanmar Finance:

[3] MFIL Secures Loan from Maybank, 2016:

[4] MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund) Loans $1.4m to NMB Bank Parent for On-lending to SMEs in Zimbabwe:

[5] Norfund Acquires 25 Percent Stake in MFIL, 2015:

[6] MIIL Equity Fundraising, 2017:

[7] About Maybank:

[8] Maybank Financials, 2016:

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