Investment in Microfinance Fund Providing Loans and Equity to Microfinance Institutions in ASEAN Countries
Enhancement of International Competitiveness through supporting Japanese Companies Access to Knowledge in Microfinance
- Area: Asia
- Equity Participations
The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC; Governor: Akira Kondoh) signed on September 12 an agreement to invest in the Japan ASEAN Women Empowerment Fund (“the Fund”), which is managed by BlueOrchard Finance Ltd. (BlueOrchard) and provides loans and equity to microfinance*1
institutions (MFIs) in ASEAN countries.
The Fund is a microfinance fund, providing loans and equity to MFIs with the aim of supporting female entrepreneurs in the ASEAN countries. Sumitomo Life Insurance Company (Sumitomo Life) and other investors from Japan will also invest in the fund along with JBIC. The target amount for the Fund to be raised to is approximately USD120 million, including JBIC’s contribution of up to USD30 million.
Sumitomo Life has been incorporating in the growth of the local life insurance market overseas, which is expected to continually escalate, through investments in insurance companies of Asia. It now has an interest in the field of microfinance with the aim of diversifying its medium- and long-term revenue base and achieving a sustainable growth of its corporate value. Through the investment in the Fund by JBIC and Sumitomo Life, Sumitomo Life will obtain via BlueOrchard the knowledge and information of microfinance business held by MFIs, which will be invested by the Fund. This investment is thereby expected to contribute to the international competitiveness of Japanese companies.
As Japan's policy-based financial institution, JBIC will continue to actively support the maintaining and strengthening of the international competitiveness of Japanese industries by drawing on its various financial schemes, including equity participation.
- *1 Microfinance is small-scale finance tailored to the low-income market.