Bogotá, Colombia, March 4, 2016 –Bancamía
S.A., the largest microfinance institution in Colombia, has issued bonds
valued at 84 billion Colombian pesos (approximately US$25 million) to enable
it to continue promoting financial inclusion in the country. The bonds
were purchased by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member
of the World Bank Group that focuses on private sector development, and
by Bancóldex and the Dutch ethical finance firm Oikocredit.
This was the third bond issue by Bancamía
since its inception seven years ago as a banking institution affiliated
with the BBVA Microfinance Foundation Group. The new funds will enable
Bancamía S.A. to expand its microfinance operations in Colombia, where
it is currently the leader in microfinancing provided by private banks,
serving over 790,000 low-income customers through a network of 200 offices,
many located in rural and other areas where the presence of financial institutions
has traditionally been limited.
The bond issue also marks a new step in Bancamía’s
strategy for positioning itself in Colombia’s capital market to continue
diversifying its funding sources. The new funds will boost financing for
business production units in both rural and urban areas.
This operation is another example of the
strategic relationship between Bancamía and IFC, both of which are seeking
to promote financial inclusion in Colombia. The relationship began in 2010,
when IFC invested US$10 million in the bank. In 2015, IFC purchased a Bancamía
bond issue for 100 billion pesos.
IFC’s purchase of a portion of this new
bond issue also strengthens the relationship between IFC and the BBVA Microfinance
Foundation, Bancamía’s principal shareholder and a partner in IFC’s efforts
to strengthen microfinance institutions in Latin America. The BBVA Microfinance
Foundation is a key player in the microfinance sector in the region. Through
the various institutions in the BBVA Group, it offers a wide range of financial
services to low-income entrepreneurs in order to sustainably advance their
economic and social development.
Oikocredit also purchased part of the bond
issue, viewing the purchase as an opportunity to support Bancamía in its
efforts to diversify its financing structure through greater emphasis on
long-term debt. Oikocredit was especially keen to invest in the bond issuance
after noting Bancamía’s national presence, its solid financial structure,
its focus on rural development in Colombia, and its commitment to microentrepreneurs.
Developing the microfinance sector has also
been a priority for IFC in Colombia as part of its efforts to increase
the financial sector’s penetration in that country. “With this new financing,
we will continue promoting financial inclusion in Colombia and working
to deepen the country’s capital markets,” said Carlos Leiria Pinto, IFC’s
head for the Andean region.
In Colombia, IFC seeks to support sectors
that are essential for the country’s social and economic development,
such as infrastructure, health, education, agribusiness, and public-private
partnerships to build ports, roads, and airports. It also promotes access
to financing for microenterprises and small and medium-sized businesses
and is helping to improve the investment climate through simplification
of regulations and management of royalties.
Bancamía S.A. is a microfinance bank created
in 2008. It is the first banking institution devoted exclusively to providing
financial products and services for the microenterprise sector, with the
aim of promoting the advancement of its customers, whose production units
are transforming the country’s economy. It currently has coverage in 29
departments and 844 municipalities in Colombia. The bank’s website is
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is
the largest global development institution focused on the private sector
in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide,
we use our capital, expertise, and influence to create opportunity where
it’s needed most. In FY15, our long-term investments in developing countries
rose to nearly US$18 billion, helping the private sector play an essential
role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
Oikocredit is a worldwide cooperative financial
institution that promotes sustainable development by providing loans, capital,
and capacity-building support to microfinance institutions, cooperatives,
fair-trade organizations, and small and medium-sized enterprises. As a
social investor, Oikocredit’s work is guided by the principle of empowering
people to improve their livelihoods.