Brussels, March 26th, 2014 – Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO) has led an INR 300 Million (USD 5 Million) Series B investment in Annapurna Microfinance Pvt. Limited. Incofin IM’s Rural Impulse Fund II, an existing investor in the microfinance institution, also participated in this Series B round of investment.
On December 5th 2013, the Belgian Chamber of Representatives approved a new law modifying the Law of 2001 addressing the constitution of BIO, Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries. BIO is delighted with this new law, which turns BIO into the reference on local private sector financing within development cooperation.
Avant tout, il est utile de rappeler que le projet est soutenu ou cité en exemple par les plus grandes autorités en matière de sécurité alimentaire : la FAO et le rapporteur spécial des Nations Unies sur le droit à l’alimentation, Olivier de Schutter qui dit du projet : « Je me réjouis du soin apporté par Addax Bioenergy aux études d’impact et à l’écoute de la population. C’est une expérience pilote ; si celle-ci ne réussit pas, cela signifiera que rien ne marche ». Le projet est également perçu positivement par nombre d’organisations de la société civile sierra léonaise* , et a fait l’objet de nombreux rapports et articles positifs ou plus pondérés**.
BIO wishes to rectify certain erroneous information published in the press on its subject. BIO supports SMEs in developing countries, in numerous sectors which create jobs and value added locally. Since it was set up, BIO has supported, directly and via intermediary structures, hundreds of thousands of end beneficiaries in developing countries. The projects supported by BIO have considerable positive effects on the development of the local economic fabric in poor countries and contribute to improving the living conditions of the local population.
BIO’s first investment in Mozambique
BIO has granted a USD 15m senior loan to Banco Comercial e de Investimentos (BCI), a commercial bank in Mozambique. The loan has been extended in local currency through a swap with TCX , and will be used by BCI for on-lending to SMEs. This is the first sizeable local currency transaction by a foreign lender, and also BIO’s first investment in Mozambique (a partner country of the Belgian Development Cooperation).
Reduction of gas emissions and improvement of the population’s living standards
BIO signed a credit facility agreement worth EUR 1,37 million with Thai Biogas Energy Co Ltd (TBEC), to finance the first ever biogas installation in Lao. Wastewater from Lao Indochina Group Co Ltd (LIG), a starch manufacturer processing cassava roots bought mainly from smallholders, will be transformed into gas and replace the coal used so far by clean and cheap energy. As a result, LIG will continue to play its critical role as processor for the country’s smallholder community while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The project will also contribute to the elimination of bad smell by expanding the wastewater treatment tanks, and enable the production of natural fertilizer from the remaining sludge. This innovative project will improve the living conditions of the population and increase the income of the smallholders and the factory staff.