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Janalakshmi to lead investor rush into Indian microfinance sector

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After Janalakshmi’s record-breaking deal, Indian MFI sector likely to raise Rs 2,000 crore ($335 million USD) in 2014

Janalakshmi Financial Services, a non-banking financial company (NBFC) focused on the urban under-served, is expected to lead the rush of (PE) funds into India’s sector, signalling a strong recovery. According to sources, global PE major is among the two global that are in advanced discussions with the Bangalore-based firm to invest about $100 million with an existing investor.

As and when Janalakshmi, started by social entrepreneur Ramesh Ramanathan, sews up the transaction, it will mark India’s largest PE funding in the microfinance sector, which was recently hit by a major crisis in Andhra Pradesh (AP). Last year, Janalakshmi had raised a record Rs 325 crore; the funding round was led by Morgan Stanley.

After this transaction, which is to close by October 2014, eight other microfinance institutions are expected to the funding rounds by raising Rs 2,000 crore by the end of FY15. According to sources, Ujjivan Financial Services, started by Samit Ghosh, will initiate a fund raise for Rs 350 crore. Various other fast-emerging microfinance institutions such as Grameen Koota, Utkarsh Microfinance, Satin Creditcare Network, Sonata Finance, and Suryoday Micro Finance are among those that have initiated talks to raise PE funds.

CARE Ratings said in a recent report the microfinance sector was entering a phase of relative stability after going through three broad risk phases in the past – high growth (till 2010), high volatility (2010-11), consolidation (2011-13).

Explaining the rationale, CARE Ratings said: “The overall credit profile of the MFIs (microfinance institutions) has shown improvement with improving profitability, as stable margins are expected during FY14 onwards on account of removal of interest rate cap and control in operating expenses. The players in the sector are also adequately capitalised with overall gearing increasing moderately in spite of good growth in the loan portfolio in FY13. Overall gearing has been at comfortable levels mainly on account of equity infusion from the private equity investors post AP crisis.”

JP Morgan and Global Impact Investing Network in their research said that investments into social impact space was likely to increase globally during 2014, with South Asia and Southeast Asia among the top regions likely to attract a major share. Intellecap, an advisory firm focused on social enterprises, said $1.6 billion of capital has been invested in 220 impact enterprises across India, with half of the investments in microfinance. Unitus Capital, an impact investment-focused investment bank, expects impact equity investments in India to grow 30 per cent this year.

In its recent report, Intellecap added that the microfinance sector alone has been able to attract $225 million in follow-on capital involving only mainstream PE and venture capital investors in later rounds, indicating the sector’s ability to attract mainstream capital without the support of impact funds. Cumulatively, the microfinance sector saw total investments of $458 million from mainstream venture capital and PE investors in the first round and follow-on deals.

 

Grameen Koota raises $10 million USD (or 532 million INR) in its 3rd round of equity funding lead by Creation Investments

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Grameen Koota raises $10 million USD (or 532 million INR)
in its 3rd round of equity funding lead by Creation Investments

February 27, 2013 – Bangalore, India: Grameen Financial Services Pvt Ltd (GFSPL), popularly know as Grameen Koota today announced its third round of equity funding of $10 million USD (or 532 million INR) lead by Creation  Investments Capital Management (Creation Investments Social Ventures Fund II, L.P. USA.  Two current investors also invested in this round – Incofin Investment Management (IIM Impulse 2, Mauritius) and MicroVentures (MVHS.p.a, Italy and MV SICAR, Luxembourg).

GFSPL has been working with poor and low-income households for the past 13 years and has provided these households with diverse financial and developmental services that caters to all life-cycle needs of its over 350,000 clients spread across three states of Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. The equity  funding comes close at the heels of the instiution receiving $3.9 million USD (or 210 million INR) in debt funding through unsecured, redeemable, non-convertible debentures (NCDs) from Global Commercial Microfinance Consortium II B.V., Netherlands, a fund managed by Deutsche Bank.

Speaking on the new equity infusion, GFSPL Managing Director Suresh Krishna, said “The newly infused funding will add to the growth of the company and help Grameen Koota achieve its target of reaching out to over 10 lakh poor and low income households.  The capital will also strengthen our vision towards extending and expanding our loan operations to other neighbouring states.”

GFSPL understands that micro-lending cannot happen in isolation and therefore has rigourously engaged in social development activities including entrepreneurial education, health, sanitation, etc. Commenting on the equity raised, Founder-Chairperson, GFSPL  Vinatha Reddy,  added “Ours has been a constant endevour towards being a well run MFI with a firm social purpose and we are happy that existing investors have reposed their faith in Grameen Koota’s work by increasing their stake, as we welcome Creation Investments, our new investor. ”

For Creation Investments, the equity funding is just the beginning of a long relationship with GFSPL. Speaking about the capital infusion, Creation Investments co-founder/director Ken Vander Weele said  “We are excited in partnering with a leading MFI like Grameen Koota that has brought about innovative loan products and are constantly evolving themselves to cater to the financial needs of the poor in India.“

Paolo Brichetti, Chairman of MicroVentures, a veteran in the social capital investment space in developing countries such as India, believes that the equity raised will only benefit the company and further enhance its activities towards accomplishing its  vision. He said, “Our relationship with Grameen Koota has deepened a further notch and we are glad that we continue to back an MFI like Grameen Koota that continues to remain a benchmark within the Indian Microfinance sector.”

Speaking on the follow-on investment in GFSPL, Aditya Bhandari (Regional Director, Incofin South Asia) stated “Grameen Koota’s instant brand recall amongst clients and its strong focus on client relationship makes it as one of the best MFIs in the world. We are excited to once-again support GFSPL in its vision to create long term sustainable value for all stakeholders (clients included).”

About Grameen Financial Services Private Limited:

Grameen Financial Services Private Limited (GFSPL), a microfinance institutions headquartered in Bangalore, popularly known as Grameen Koota has over 350,000 clients with 1300 employees working out from 168 branches in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. It had loan outstanding of about $84 million USD (or 4.5 billion INR). Being socially focused Microfinance Institutions; Grameen Koota has over a decade of experience in micro lending towards Joint Liability Groups formed exclusively of women from poor and low income households with other support products like Water, Sanitation, Health Care, Energy Efficient Cook Stove etc. For more information, visit www.gfspl.in

About Creation Investments Capital Management

Creation Investments is an alternative investment management company with over $100 million in assets under management. Named a leading Impact Investment fund manager by ImpactAssets50 in 2011, Creation Investments Capital Management, LLC currently manages 4b Capital Fund A, L3C, Creation Investments Social Ventures Fund I, and Creation Investments Social Ventures Fund II, with a focus on private equity and control equity investments in Microfinance Institutions, Small-and-Medium Enterprise lenders, BOP Financial Services Providers, and other Social Ventures in emerging markets seeking to maximize financial and social returns on investment. Investments in microfinance and social ventures create opportunities through access to capital and needed products and services for those living in poverty to engage in small-business activity, income generation, and significantly impact those living at the bottom of the economic pyramid.

About MicroVentures

The MicroVentures initiative was started-up in Italy by a group of private social entrepreneurs with previous experience in the field of social venture capital and business cooperation with the Developing Countries. The initiative has gradually expanded into an international network of affiliates, which includes the Bangalore-based MicroVentures India (specialized in providing debt to indian MFIs), Bina Artha Indonesia and  MicroVentures Investments SICAR, a specialized investments fund based in Luxembourg, which provides equity  and debt financing to promising Microfinance Institutions in Asia and Latin America.

About Incofin Investment Management

Incofin Investment Management (www.incofin.com) is a specialized fund management company with more than 10 years of experience in microfinance and currently more than 350 M EUR assets under management. Incofin IM manages the following funds and facilities: Incofin CVSO (40 M EUR), Impulse (46 M EUR), Volksvermogen (10 M EUR), VDK (75 M EUR), Rural Impulse Fund I (30 M EUR), Rural Impulse Fund II (120 M EUR), BIO (10 M EUR) and Fair trade Access Fund (20 M EUR). Investors are mainly Western Europe and US based, including ~50% public investors (DFIs such as IFC, KfW, EIB, FMO, BIO etc) and ~50% private (institutional investors such as banks, pension funds etc). The total investment portfolio includes over 100 MFIs in more than 44 countries around the world. Incofin IM has a strong track record, having executed more than 566 transactions since 2003.

 

http://in.reuters.com/article/2013/03/06/grameen-koota-raises-10m-round-led-by-cr-idINDEE92504P20130306

 

http://www.legallyindia.com/201303043483/Private-equity-/-VC/tatva-jsa-on-us-social-vc-s-7m-pe-in-indian-mfi-grameen

 

http://www.ivcpost.com/articles/6926/20130306/grameen-koota.htm

 

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/grameen-koota-raises-rs-5320-cr-equity-fund/article4482251.ece

 

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/banking/grameen-koota-raises-over-rs-53-cr-in-third-round-of-funding/article4479058.ece

 

http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-03-05/news/37469982_1_incofin-grameen-koota-microfinance-firm

 

http://www.altassets.net/private-equity-news/by-news-type/deal-news/creation-investments-leads-10m-grameen-equity-financing.html

 

http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2013/03/08/india-hint-of-recovery-in-microfinance/#axzz2N14VCTtL

Using Small Loans to Generate Big Profits – Microlending Drives One of Africa’s Most Ambitious Banks – WSJ.com

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By SOLOMON MOORE

NAIROBI, Kenya—At a recent group-lending meeting in the Kawangware slum, about 10 miles from downtown, Jackson Munyovi sought $350 to build a new shanty for his wife and two children.

 

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Nichole Sobecki for The Wall Street JournalJackson Munyovi borrowed $350 to build a new shanty for his two children and wife.

The 31-year-old welder asked fellow church congregants and friends to co-sign a loan to finance building materials. A church deacon vouched for the borrower’s assets, including a few metal-shop machines and his marital bed, and Mr. Munyovi promised to repay the loan in six months, plus 8% interest.

And with that, Equity Bank Group—one of Africa’s most ambitious banks—snagged another customer.

The Kenyan bank has enjoyed a booming business lending to people with little collateral beyond the potential disgrace of letting friends down. Equity executives aren’t shy about a business model that leverages societal mores and shame—often the strongest collateral to be found on a continent where formal credit records are scarce beyond the biggest cities.

“If a woman secures a mortgage with her matrimonial bed, she will never default,” declares Chief Executive Officer James Mwangi. “And other women will support her just to ensure that that matrimonial bed is not removed when the husband is not there. Here, social relationships are more valuable than economic relationships.”

In this field, known as microlending, Equity executives say their main competition isn’t other banks—it is the bedroom mattresses where many Africans store their savings. Nearly 90% of Equity’s customers are first-time bank clients, Mr. Mwangi said.

The unbanked represent about 80% of Africa’s adult population, or 326 million people, according to banking-industry estimates. Most of those people are employed in Africa’s massive informal sector—a term describing an untaxed, unregulated part of the economy.

Among African microfinance institutions, both public and private, performance has lagged behind similar lending organizations elsewhere, according to a recent study by the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, a microfinance-policy-research group supported by the World Bank. Only 25 African microfinance institutions have assets greater than $30 million, compared with Latin America and the Caribbean with 105 institutions and 62 in Europe and Central Asia.

Leveraging Friends in Kenya’s Slums

Nichole Sobecki for The Wall Street JournalWorkers take a break at Jackson Munyovi’s metal shop.

Other Kenyan banks, particularly Kenya Commercial Bank, also are expanding their customer bases by targeting small borrowers in the informal economy, but none have caught up with Equity, which pioneered the idea of signing the unbanked in Kenya and fortified its position with the nation’s largest network of storefront banking agents.

That leaves Equity with few competitors in Africa and none that can match its scale.

The bank started out as Equity Building Society in 1984, a mortgage financier for low-income Kenyans. The company nearly collapsed by the 1990s due to management shortcomings, a downturn in the nation’s banking sector and nonperforming loans topping 54% of its portfolio.

Mr. Mwangi joined the bank in 1993 after working for Ernst & Young and Trade Bank, a now-defunct Kenyan bank, and was its chief executive officer by 2004. He is credited with fashioning its microlending strategy and steering it toward profitability by targeting individuals with deposits of less than $200 and little collateral beyond the willingness of friends and neighbors to vouch for them.

For the bank, amorphous social relationships that bind communities—church and mosque associations, tribal and familial relationships, company and school affiliations—became a hard asset.

In their lending decisions, executives used a hybrid approach that combines hard-nosed cultural analysis with microlending techniques. Such methods are common at nonprofit institutions, but Equity has used them to make money.

In 2011, pretax profit surged 42% to $150 million, making it Kenya’s second-most profitable bank after Kenya Commercial Bank. About a third of Equity’s loans in 2011 were noncollateralized payday advances for as little as $12 for civil servants who agreed to repay the loans with 10% interest taken out of their next paycheck.

An additional 11% of Equity’s loans were to small enterprises such as fruit stands, used-clothing racks and hair salons. Collateral can include anything from furniture, household appliances or the business’s assets.

Upon repayment, borrowers can qualify for loans of $590 and then $886 to be paid over the same term. The final step for new borrowers is a $1,200 loan to be paid within a year.

Godfrey Chege is one such customer: He received a loan for almost $1,200 from Equity to expand his chicken-selling business. He and his wife pledged their bed as collateral.

Eighteen months after Equity opened an office in Kibera, one of the world’s largest slums, the branch had more than 15,000 clients, according to Francis Mbindyo, a manager of the recently opened Kibera branch.

Customer lines at other Equity bank branches often snake out the front door. Mr. Mbindyo says borrowers must also be part of a loan group of at least a dozen people willing to be co-signers.

Nonperforming loans accounted for 2.7% of Equity’s total portfolio, according to the company’s most recent quarterly statement.

For 88% of Equity’s customers, the bank was the first bank at which they ever opened an account, and more than three-quarters of Equity’s loans are unsecured by collateral.

Equity also uses an agency model in Kenya, paying commissions to storefront operators who act as remote bank tellers in rural areas. The bank had nearly 4,000 agency locations in March 2012, compared with 875 at the beginning of 2011. One-fifth of Equity’s cash transactions are done through agents, according to company statements.

Equity is also expanding regionally. The bank has opened a total of 51 branches in Uganda, South Sudan and, most recently, in Rwanda and Tanzania. Those forays were preceded by yearlong executive-training programs for local staff, said Mr. Mwangi.

“We want to be an international bank that is a local bank in every community,” he said.

Fruit farmer Thomas Kimote’s first Equity loan was for about $200 four years ago. He used the money to expand his operation and he now supplies several of Kenya’s largest grocery stores.

“I am more of distributor now,” said Mr. Kimote.

Mr. Mbindyo, Equity’s Kibera branch manager, said that Mr. Kimote’s business had resulted in other customers for the bank, including his suppliers, his drivers and others linked to his enterprise.

A version of this article appeared July 23, 2012, on page C1 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Finding Big Profits In Many Little Loans.

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Announces Launch of Investing with Impact Platform

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Investing with Impact Platform offers an investment approach targeting risk-adjusted financial returns as well as positive environmental and social impact

Submitted by:Morgan Stanley

Categories:Socially Responsible Investing,Finance

Posted:Apr 26, 2012 – 01:30 PM EST

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NEW YORK, Apr. 26 /CSRwire/ – Morgan Stanley Smith Barney today announced the launch of a new investment platform designed to help clients align their financial goals and their personal values. The Investing with Impact Platform offers clients and Financial Advisors a broad range of investment options.

The concept of integrating social and environmental impact into investment decisions is not new, but its growing importance has led to a greater opportunity set for investors. Nearly one in eight dollars under professional management in the U.S. or about $3.07 trillion follows investment strategies that consider corporate responsibility and societal concerns.1

“This is an important initiative for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney,” said Andy Saperstein, Head of Wealth Management, U.S., at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.”We hear frequently from clients and Financial Advisors about the importance of integrating sustainability themes into their investment portfolios. Now through the Investing with Impact Platform, MSSB is able to offer our clients an action-oriented approach to combine financial returns and their personal values.”

At launch, the Investing with Impact Platform will offer clients access to many opportunities spanning public and private market products through their Financial Advisors. This is the first phase in Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s focused effort to meet investors’ desire for investment opportunities that center on positive social and environmental impact, without sacrificing financial performance potential. The launch of the Investing with Impact Platform will provide a substantial base on which to expand our offerings over time.

“Our goal is to build this into a robust offering to meet our clients’ needs, regardless of their impact priorities or what their portfolio fit might require,” said Paul Hatch, Head of Investment Strategy & Client Solutions at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. “With over four million clients who have more than $1.7 trillion of investable assets, we are in a unique position to extend the reach of an ‘investing with impact’ program to one of the largest sets of investors in the world. Even a fraction of this total represents a substantial amount that could be invested in support of the common good.”

“At Morgan Stanley and MSSB, sustainability is at the core of our business and now, with the launch of the Investing with Impact Platform, we are able to help our wealth management clients align their investments with their desire to positively impact their communities,” commented Audrey Choi, Head of Global Sustainable Finance at Morgan Stanley. “We believe investments targeting positive environmental and social impact should be available to all investors from individuals to large scale institutions, and we look forward to continuing to broaden the reach.”

To find out more about the Investing with Impact Platform at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, please contact your Financial Advisor or email InvestingwithImpact@mssb.com.

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, a global leader in wealth management, provides access to a wide range of products and services to individuals, businesses and institutions, including brokerage and investment advisory services, financial and wealth planning, credit and lending, cash management, annuities and insurance, retirement and trust services.

For further information about Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, please visitwww.morganstanleysmithbarney.com.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a leading global financial services firm providing a wide range of investment banking, securities, investment management and wealth management services. The Firm’s employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals from more than 1,300 offices in 43 countries. For further information about Morgan Stanley, please visit www.morganstanley.com.

©2012 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC. CRC 493016 / 04/12

1 U.S. SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, Report on Socially Responsible Investing Trends in the United States, 2010

Creation Investment Social Ventures Fund I Announces a Final Fund Closing of $32 million in Committed Capital

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Creation Investment Social Ventures Fund I Announces a Final Fund Closing of $32 million in Committed Capital

CHICAGO, IL – January 14, 2010 – Creation Investments Social Ventures Fund I, a global Microfinance private equity fund, completed its final closing on December 15, 2010 with total committed capital of $31.8 million USD. The Fund’s investor base is composed of 74 US and European institutional investors along with many family offices and high net worth individuals. The Fund is governed by an independent Board of Directors and managed by Creation Investments Capital Management, LLC, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.

To date, the Fund has deployed over half of its committed capital, making equity investments in five Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) and Small-and-Medium Enterprise Lenders in Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe. Specifically, portfolio holdings include: Aspire, S.A.P.I. de C.V. SOFOM E.N.R. (Mexico); MicroCred Mexico, S.A.P.I. de C.V. SOFOM E.N.R. (Mexico); Opportunity Albania (Albania); Inicjatywa Mikro (Poland); and Forus Bank (Russia). The Fund Manager co-led the establishment of CEE Microfinance Holdings, N.V. which manages the Fund’s three holdings in Central and Eastern Europe.

Each of these institutions is committed to providing financial services to under-banked individuals and businesses in its respective geography, helping to facilitate economic development and poverty alleviation. Beyond enterprise lending, several of the Fund’s portfolio companies offer micro-insurance, micro-savings, and other remittance services. As of November 30, 2010, the total aggregate loan portfolio is $95 million USD with over 30,000 active borrowers.

Creation Investment Social Ventures Fund I targets growth equity investments in early stage, high potential MFIs, as well as buyout equity investments in more mature MFIs transitioning out of NGO ownership. The Fund Manager seeks to add value and achieve greater scale through active management, in-market consolidation, and expansion of the financial product offering. The Fund aims to hold significant equity investments in three major geographic regions – Latin America, Asia, and Eastern Europe – resulting in a diverse, global portfolio in core emerging markets.

The Creation Investment’s team, led by Patrick Fisher and Ken Vander Weele, has proven their ability to originate unique impact investment transactions, recruit seasoned management for portfolio companies, access debt capital to fund growth, deliver technical assistance and technology to enhance systems, maintain a focus on client protection principles as a Smart Campaign member, and add value through active involvement in all levels of the business.

“We are excited to have brought sophisticated, private sector investors to a new asset class providing them with the opportunity to maximize their financial and social returns through robust impact investments” said Patrick Fisher, CEO and Co-Founder of the Fund Manager.

About Creation Investments Capital Management, LLC:
Creation Investments is an alternative investment management company committed to fighting global poverty through direct, for-profit investments in businesses which promote economic development. Creation Investments Capital Management, LLC manages and sponsors impact investment funds and one-off investments in social ventures, seeking to maximize financial and social returns on investment. For more information, go to: http://creationinvestments.com/

http://www.prlog.org/11221631-creation-investment-social-ventures-fund-announces-final-fund-closing-of-32-million.html

dfe Partners and Creation Investments Establish CEE Microfinance Holdings, as a Regional Holding Company and Complete 3 Acquisitions

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Combined Talent from Financial Services and Microfinance Join to Expand Microfinance Services Throughout Central and Eastern Europe

DATELINE, September 23rd, 2010 – CEE Microfinance Holdings, N.V., a new, private equity backed, Dutch holding company owned by the Balkan Financial Sector Equity Fund, managed by the Swiss based dfe partners, and Creation Investments Social Ventures Fund I, managed by US based Creation Investments Capital Management, announced today it purchased three microfinance institutions located in Central and Eastern Europe. CEE Microfinance Holdings has a newly recruited management team which combines talent from the financial services industry both inside and outside the microfinance sector.

The three microfinance institutions involved in the transaction are located in Albania, Poland, and Russia and purchased from, U.S. based Opportunity Transformation Investments Inc., UK based Opportunity Microfinance Investments Ltd and FORA Fund (Russia).    The first institution, Opportunity Albania is a non-bank financial institution currently serving more than 16,000 clients from its 23 branches, with its headquarters in Tirana, Albania.  The second, Inicjatywa Mikro is a non-bank financial institution currently serving more than 2,000 customers, with its headquarters in Krakow, Poland. The third, FORUS is a registered bank in Russia currently serving more than 10,000 customers, with its headquarters in Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia and a 42 branch network.

“The successful completion of this transaction opens a new chapter for our customers, our employees, our businesses, and our investors and lenders.” said Pieter van Groos, the chief executive officer of the newly established CEE Microfinance.  “We are convinced that these businesses have tremendous potential to expand accessible and affordable financial services to both current and new customers that are underserved by traditional commercial banks and finance institutions. These acquisitions also provide a starting point for further acquisitions and create scale in the region.” Pieter van Groos was previously CEO of GE Money Bank in the Czech & Slovak Republics, and prior to this worked for McKinsey and Exxon. In addition, Koen Wasmus joins as COO of CEE Microfinance. Wasmus was previously CEO of ProCredit in Kosovo and held other management positions within ProCredit. Further appointments to the CEE Microfinance team will be announced.

Clive Moody, Managing Partner of dfe partners, who negotiated and led the transaction said, “The challenges for success in the maturing microfinance sector in Central and Eastern Europe have and will continue to change. What we see as critical to the future of CEE Microfinance is fresh vision combining the capabilities of experienced management with active shareholders who promote strong corporate governance and provide much needed access to capital. We believe there is much to be gained through developing a common business model across the three institutions that will then serve as a template for further country acquisitions.”

“The formation of CEE Microfinance with presence across three territories, including the banking license in Russia, allowed us to recruit a level of expertise to manage these operations that combines the best practices not only from the microfinance world, but also from the wider financial services environment,” said Patrick Fisher, CEO of Creation Investments. “Pieter and Koen individually have extensive experience, that combined provides a management strength that is the essential ingredient of a successful microfinance business in Central and Eastern Europe for the next decade”.

About CEE Microfinance Holdings, N.V.

CEE Microfinance Holdings, N.V. is a Dutch public limited liability company.  CEE Microfinance is involved in the business of owning microfinance and small and medium enterprise lending institutions in unbanked and underbanked markets and client segments in Central and Eastern Europe.  CEE Microfinance is owned by a Dutch Coöperatief formed by the Balkan Financial Sector Equity Fund CV and Creation Investments Social Ventures Fund I.  The Balkan Fund is a Netherlands investment fund, managed by Development Finance Equity Partners AG, Switzerland.  The Creation Social Ventures Fund is a U.S. investment fund, managed by Creation Investments Capital Management, LLC.

For more information, visit http://www.dfe-partners.com/ or http://www.creationinvestments.com/.

Or contact:

Clive Moody, Managing Partner, dfe partners AG
Phone:   +44 1962 850736
Mobile:  +44 7866 565588
cmoody@dfe-partners.com

Patrick Fisher, Chief Executive Officer, Creation Investments Capital Management, LLC

Phone: +1.312.784.3980
Mobile: +1.773.960.8520
patrick.fisher@creationinvestments.com