MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Netherlands’ FMO Lending $7.5m to ASA Pakistan for Microloans, Financial Education for 50k Women

The Netherlands Development Finance Company, a government-backed institution also known by its Dutch acronym FMO, recently announced it will loan USD 7.5 million to the Association for Social Advancement (ASA) Pakistan, a microlending unit of Mauritius-based ASA International Holding, “to provide funding and financial education to about 50,000 women and their families.”

ASA Pakistan offers loans and is applying for a microfinance bank license, which would allow it to take deposits. ASA International, which was founded by Bangladeshi NGO ASA, has 1,257 branches in 12 countries and USD 244 million in loans outstanding to 1.5 million borrowers as of 2017. In Bangladesh, ASA offers microfinance, healthcare, education, agricultural support, sanitation programs and remittance services.

FMO is disbursing the loan from the Massif investment vehicle, which is funded by the Dutch government and “focuses on small businesses and micro-entrepreneurs, women and youth entrepreneurs, as well as supporting innovations in inclusive business.” FMO reports Massif has a net portfolio of EUR 430 million as of 2016.

The vision of FMO is to help abolish extreme poverty, increase equality and support measures that reduce climate change. It has total assets of EUR 8.5 billion (USD 9.5 billion) and profit before taxes of EUR 219 million (USD 245 million) for the year 2016.

By Sascha Strobl, Research Associate

Sources and Additional Resources:

FMO press release:

Massif fund:

ASA Pakistan:

ASA International:

Oikocredit on ASA International:

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