News

  • BIO continues its support to the provision of microfinance loans in local currency

  • 24.07.2013
  • The BIO’s Board has approved an investment of up to $4 million in the equity of Locfund II.  It also gave BIO approval for negotiating a senior loan to the fund of up to $1 million. Locfund II is a 9-year closed-end local currency debt fund targeting Tier II and Tier III microfinance institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Fund will also – in selected cases – support MFIs to access to the local capital markets. The Fund targets $60 million, more than 100 loan operations and it is expected to support about 100,000 jobs. The Fund will be managed by BIM Ltd., a Bolivian fund manager with strong experience in microfinance and FX management in the targeted region.

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  • Microfinance: US$9 million for FUNDESER, Nicaragua

  • 24.07.2013
  • Fundeser receives US$9 million more to support the micro, small and medium sized urban and rural enterprises of Nicaragua. The lenders are BIO and Incofin (Belgium), ResponsAbility and Symbiotics (Switzerland), Cordaid and Oikocredit (Netherland), Conective Capital (Germany) and LMDF/ADA (Luxemburg).

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  • USD 60.5 million syndicated loan for PRASAC, Cambodia

  • 10.07.2013
  • PRASAC, the leading microfinance institution in Cambodia, entered the syndicated loan market with a USD 60.5 million facility to expand the market with new services. BIO is one of the lenders (USD 7.5 million) of this syndicated loan organized by the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank (FMO). The transaction is the largest syndicated loan ever made in the microfinance sector worldwide.  

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  • Evaluation of BIO

  • 07.05.2013
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    An external evaluation of BIO was carried out at the end of 2012, by the Special Evaluation Unit, which is part of the FPS Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation. The report published in January 2013 recognises the fundamental role played by BIO and confirms that this institution is an appropriate instrument to provide sustainable support to the private sector in developing countries. You can read the full report here (in French).

  • Transforming wastewater into clean energy

  • 07.12.2012
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    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.

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  • BIO appoints Luuk Zonneveld as CEO

  • 26.07.2012
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    The Board of Directors of the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO S.A. / N.V.) has appointed Luuk Zonneveld as Chief Executive Officer, effective 1 December 2012.

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  • Response from BIO’s Board of Directors further to the article published on 28 February in Le Soir

  • 28.02.2012
  • BIO is confident that its operations have a significant positive impact on the development of the local economy in underprivileged countries and on the improvement of living conditions of the local populations A change in the investment policy could significantly reduce the financing volume granted by BIO to SMEs and the local population BIO supports SMEs in developing countries in a wide range of sectors that create local jobs and local added value. Until today more than 240,000 jobs have been supported through BIO’s financing. In order to meet its objectives, BIO invests in local financial institutions and local SMEs and through investment funds that focus on local micro, small and medium-sized entrepreneurs. For the sake of efficiency, when BIO was set up, the legislator required that the investments should give precedence to indirect support, with a significant portion of the resources to be allocated to intermediary financial structures. All jurisdictions through which BIO operates demonstrate a level of transparency that meets OECD standards, comparable to the one that exists in Belgium. BIO co-invests in these jurisdictions with the World Bank Group, the European Investment Bank and other European development finance institutions*. Moreover, by means of advanced assessments, BIO ensures the quality of the local teams that manage the investments funds and of the reliability of its other investment partners. All investment decisions are made with the utmost transparency based on an analysis of their local development impact and are audited by two Government Commissioners who attend BIO’s Board of Directors.

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  • New Report Finds International Finance Institutions Critical for Job Creation in Emerging Markets

  • 23.09.2011
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    A new report finds that international finance institutions play a key role in catalyzing job creation and growth through the private sector in emerging markets, particularly as governments face increased pressure on public resources.The report, International Finance Institutions and Development through the Private Sector, was launched during the World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings. It was produced by 31 international finance institutions (IFIs). The private sector is recognized as a critical stakeholder and partner in economic development, a provider of income, jobs, goods, and services to enhance people's lives and help them escape poverty. Multilateral development banks and bilateral development finance institutions (together in this report called International Finance Institutions, or IFIs) play a significant role in supporting the private sector in developing countries. They provide critical capital, knowledge and partnerships, help manage risks, and catalyze the participation of others. They support the kind of entrepreneurial initiatives that help developing countries achieve sustainable economic growth. Yet the important development contributions that IFIs make when engaging with the private sector in developing economies are often not clear or adequately communicated to stakeholders and the public. It is the aim of this report to help bridge that gap to increase the information and understanding about both the value of the private sector in development, and the role of international development finance institutions in supporting development through the private sector.

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  • Grand-Place Vietnam: an example of vertical integration

  • 21.01.2011
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    The first « Single Origin Made in Vietnam » chocolate Grand-Place Vietnam (GPV), a company funded by BIO, is about to market the first chocolate made entirely in Vietnam, from the cultivation of the cocoa to the final product. GPV is to date the first producer in this country to integrate the cocoa sector with its production. The use of cocoa cultivated locally will replace the importation of raw materials required for the chocolate-making process. It will also enable GPV to bring down its ecological footprint and to maintain full control of quality at all the production stages.

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  • The Growing Role of the Development Finance Institutions in International Development Policy

  • 17.11.2010
  • As contribution to the discussion about the bilateral DFI's involvement in private sector development, the EDFI members have in July 2010 launched a new consultancy report as a follow-up to the report of the Nordic DFIs, published in Stockholm in October 2009. The new report covers the activities of all 15 EDFI members. For more information, download the full report here.