Today, XSML, the fund manager active in Central Africa, announced the first close of the African Rivers Fund at USD 45 million. The African Rivers Fund is XSML’s second fund under management, after its maiden fund the Central Africa SME Fund (CASF), bringing total assets under management to USD 65 million. The African Rivers Fund (ARF) targets growing, well-managed small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Central African region covering Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Uganda and Republic of Congo as well as Burundi and Central African Republic (CAR). The fund is named after the two most powerful rivers in Africa, the Congo and Nile Rivers, which embody the potential of the Central African region. ARF follows the successful investment strategy of its predecessor, CASF, by providing debt, equity and mezzanine finance to fast-growing companies in the Central African region. All three current investors in CASF, IFC (a member of the World Bank Group), FMO (the Dutch development bank) and Lundin Foundation (Canadian foundation), are joined by BIO (Belgium Investment Company for Developing Countries), CDC Group (the UK development finance institution), Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF) and FISEA (AFD Group) - an expansion of the investor base of the African Rivers Fund, which demonstrates their commitment and support for investing in these frontier markets.
BIO is extending a USD 12.2 million long-term senior loan to Irrawaddy Green Towers ltd (IGT) in Myanmar, for installing and operating mobile telecommunication towers. The total investment, arranged by the Dutch development finance institution FMO, amounts to 122m US-dollars. Other European development finance institutions such as CDC Group (Great Britain), PROPARCO (France), OeEB (Austria) and DEG (Germany) are further investors.
USD 109 million of total USD 153 million syndicated loan for Commercial Leasing & Finance (CLC) in Sri Lanka arranged
On Friday 18 December, the Dutch development bank FMO has arranged the first tranche of a USD 153 million senior secured syndicated loan for Commercial Leasing & Finance (CLC) in Sri Lanka. The first amount of USD 109 million arranged today will be followed by an expected second tranche of USD 44 million in Q1 2016. The total loan will have a tenor of 5 years. FMO provided the loan and acted as Mandated Lead Arranger and Facility Agent. In addition to the USD 20 million provided by FMO, participants include OFID (USD 20 million), Finnfund (USD 11 million), Proparco (USD 10 million), BIO (USD 7 million), ResponsAbility (USD 12 million), Blue Orchard (USD 10.1 million), Symbiotics (USD 9.0 million) and Oikocredit (USD 5 million). ACTIAM provided USD 5 million via FMO’s fund structure.
Right in the heart of Africa a prestigious and unique project was launched: Kivuwatt, a power station where otherwise hazardous methane gas trapped in the waters of Lake Kivu is removed and processed for use as fuel to generate critically needed electricity. This short video explains how it works and what the impact is for local population and business. BIO is a proud investor in this groundbreaking initiative. Watch the video here.Read more on BIO's investment in Kivuwatt here.
BIO is investing 5 million USD in Banco D-Miro, a bank specialized in microfinance and focused on reducing poverty. Its operations started in 1977 as a microfinance program supported by a Norwegian NGO, with the aim to promote development in the most vulnerable areas of Ecuador. In 2011, the organization became a bank. Banco D-Miro offers financial services to micro, small and medium entrepreneurs in the peri- urban areas of the coast of Ecuador, where the poverty levels are higher and the penetration of financial services is the lowest.
Launching of an Electrification Financing Initiative, ElectriFI, by the European Commission and members of the European Development Finance Institutions – EDFI
ElectriFI, an initiative of the European Union (EU) and EDFI, was launched at COP21 in Paris on 4 December 2015. ElectriFI will support renewable energy investments with a focus on rural electrification. Addressing the lack of access to clean, reliable and affordable electricity and energy services is a major development challenge and a key pillar of Climate Change policy. Cost-efficient access is central to inclusive and equitable economic growth in all sectors and a precondition for the poorest of the planet to be able to escape the worst impacts of poverty. Reaching the goal of global access through sustainable solutions is fundamental for mitigating the worst impacts of climate change, which most affect the poor.
BIO is investing 4 million euro to fund the renovation of the Salam hotel and the building of a new hotel, both in Bamako, Mali. SGH SA is the Malian subsidiary of the Azalaï group of hotels. The completely African group is present in different countries in West-Africa, mainly in capital cities. They target local and international business people, with competitive pricing in relation to international hotel chains. The BIO investment of 4 million € is part of a syndicate of 16,4 million € together with the French Development Finance Institution, Proparco. Stimulating tourism contributes substantially to creating employment and generating revenues in the country. The policies of the SGH hotels are strongly driven by high social and environmental standards. Hotel staff, both from the group and external hotels, is trained at the Azalaï Academy. Having well trained staff benefits the tourism sector as a whole and allows for getting access to better wages. SGH focuses on employing women, especially in management functions. Salaries are more than double of the minimum wage standards in Mali and all personnel gets access to health insurance as well as health education. Wherever possible, SGH sources its products from local suppliers and farmers. The hotels have a waste management system in place that looks at reducing waste by recycling and treating waste water correctly.
Mitigating climate change is an urgent global challenge and a top priority for the European Development Finance Institutions (EDFI) members which invested €2,1 bln in climate finance projects in 2014, a total of €5,5 bln in the last five years. EDFIs are constantly working to adapt their instruments and services to provide a tailored response to our clients. EDFI strongly believe that the private sector plays an essential role to enable sustainable development for all. To ensure sustainable development we need to fight climate change and the private sector should be part of the battle.
BIO and Norfund are partnering to support the development of a small hydro power station in Uganda, Rwimi SHPP. BIO provides a USD 13 million senior loan while the mezzanine financing will be brought by Norfund. Th 5.6 MW greenfield project with 2 wind turbines is expected to generate 28 GWh per year. This clean energy will supply to commercial and industrial enterprises, which consume two-thirds of the electricity in Uganda. Unreliable electricity supply is considered as one of the most important factors affecting business of large, medium and small enterprises. The generated energy will be bought by the Ugandan national transmission company UETCL. The project was selected for the GET Fit Ugandan program, which facilitates the development of small-scale renewable energy private projects through the provision of a subsidy payable on top of the standard feed-in-tariffs as defined by the Ugandan regulator. GET FiT is supported by international donors under the lead of the German development bank, KfW, and is considered as a model to foster development of small scale renewable energy projects.Read more on the Rwimi investment
BIO is providing a senior loan of USD 2.27 million to the mcirofinance institution « Sociedad Financiera VisionFund Ecuador ». VisionFund Ecuador supports microenterprise owners who cannot obtain credit from the formal financial system due to a lack of credit and guarantees. The organization helps women from urban and rural areas who make a living from agricultural, artisanal, commercial, and service activities by providing credit, training, and advisory services. BIO’s loan will support the MFI in further growing its loan portfolio. Learn more about this investment