Credo Bank attracted USD 10,000,000 loan from the Microfinance Enhancement Facility (MEF) to support micro and small farmers in Georgia. The transaction was led by Belgian Incofin Investment Management as an immediate response to COVID-19 pandemic impact. The loan enables Credo Bank to stand alongside hundreds of thousand agriculture entrepreneurs which is vital considering the current peak farming season. The proceeds will be on lent to them in local currency by the bank.
Zaza Pirtskhelava, Chief Executive Officer Credo Bank: “Since already months operating under unprecedented challenges inflicted by the pandemic, I am proud to say that Credo Bank has been providing finance to agriculture borrowers uninterruptedly through the farming season. I would like to thank Microfinance Enhancement Facility and Incofin Investment Management for years of fruitful partnership, swift and decisive work on this particular transaction dedicated to supporting micro and small farmers in Georgia through stable funding, even in uncertain times.”
Ihno Baumfalk, Chairperson of the MEF Board of Directors: “MEF is pleased to support the growth of Credo Bank through our investment advisor Incofin. Credo continues to provide tailored financial products to micro and small businesses, including up to 70% of clients in the agriculture sector. This rural focus is an example of the MEF approach to building a diversified global portfolio that fosters productive enterprise in local markets.”
Geert Peetermans, Senior Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Incofin IM: “Incofin made its first loan investment to Credo back in early 2008 when Credo was entering its first expansion stage, having just completed its transformation into an NBFI the year before. Since then, our partnership has been uninterrupted, and we note with great satisfaction that Credo operates today under a bank license while continuing to serve the same market segment with ever increasing sophistication in products and channels. Via this new financing it is our desire to propel further financial inclusion in the Republic of Georgia.”
Credo Bank is the leading bank on Georgian microfinance market in terms of countrywide presence and the number of clients. It operates 72 service centers and supports more than 300,000 customers across Georgia. The bank’s mission is to provide sustainable financial services to micro, small and medium businesses, with a preference for rural activities and those businesses that create income and employment opportunities. Credo Bank is owned by a consortium of international shareholders, the social impact investors – Access Microfinance Holding AG, ResponsAbility Investment Management AG and Triodos Investment Management BV.
Microfinance Enhancement Facility (MEF) was initiated in 2009 by KfW (the German Development Bank) and IFC (the private-sector arm of the World Bank Group) as a joint initiative with OeEB (the Development Bank of Austria). As of December 2019, the Fund held total assets of USD 770 million invested in 133 financial institutions in 43 countries. MEF’s mission is to provide a stable and reliable source of funding to financial institutions thereby contributing to the improvement of the livelihood of micro-entrepreneurs and households in developing countries around the globe.
Incofin Investment Management (www.incofin.com) is a global independent impact investment firm, focused on rural and agricultural finance, driven by a desire to promote inclusive progress. As such, Incofin IM strives to provide the support entrepreneurs need in order to build sustainable businesses and to improve the lives of the more vulnerable or less privileged people. It is an AIFM licensed fund manager and has over USD 1 billion in assets under management. Incofin has a team of more than 60 professionals spread over their headquarters in Belgium and local investment teams in India, Colombia, Kenya and Cambodia.
As a leading impact investment firm, Incofin has invested (via equity and debt financing) over USD 2.1 billion in 257 microfinance/financial institutions across 53 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and Eastern Europe.