News

  • RVR : after 20 years, key trade route between Kenya and North Uganda rehabilitated.

  • 31.10.2013
  • As part of the Rift Valley Railways railway network, the line connecting the boarder to Kenya with the North of Uganda has been rehabilitated. BIO, as one of the lenders to Rift Valley Railways, is proud to have taken part to this rehabilitation process. The 500 km track has been out of service for over 20 years and will be crucial as an economic artery linking eastern Uganda to northern Uganda, as well as the neighboring countries of South Sudan and DR Congo. There is no doubt that the reopening of this key trade route between Kenya and North Uganda will boost Ugandan economy.

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  • Grand-Place Vietnam wins International Cocoa Award

  • 31.10.2013
  • This October 30, 2013 Grand Place Vietnam received an Excellence Award at the “Salon du Chocolat” in Paris, for the best cocoa in the Asia-Pacific region. The “Salon du Chocolat” is a worldwide reference for quality producers of cocoa beans and chocolate. Cocoa of Excellence is the entry point for farmers to participate in the Salon du Chocolat's International Cocoa Awards, the only competition of its kind rewarding the work of cocoa farmers and celebrating the diversity of cocoa flavors.

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  • Microfinance crisis in Nicaragua: BIO contributes to the recovery

  • 29.10.2013
  • On 15th of October 2013, BIO signed a USD 4 million senior loan contract with Fondo de Desarollo Local (FDL), a microfinance institution in Nicaragua. The investment is a much needed sign to other investors that the Nicaraguan microfinance market is ready to climb out of the steep crisis it has suffered since 2009.The microfinance sector in Nicaragua was booming when in 2008 the global financial crisis hit. This originated an abrupt decline in remittances, which quickly led to repayment problems as clients were over indebted. As the economy deteriorated, the microfinance industry was further affected by a political and social movement of delinquent borrowers known as the “No Pago” (No Payment) movement. In this context MFIs and banks, needed to reschedule and restructure loans, and some of the MFIs went bankrupt. International funders grew nervous about the country risk and massively and abruptly retrieved their investments causing further trouble in the sector. After 3 years, signs of improvement are arising. The worst impacts of the crisis have been overcome and there is a positive outlook for the future of the microfinance industry in Nicaragua. Lessons have been learnt from the crisis, the MFIs now focus on sustainable growth through a balance in their growth objectives and the use of credit information bureaus to improve credit risk management and manage multiple borrowing. Furthermore, new microfinance law closes any space for the non-payment movement to maneuver, and the government is putting its best efforts to regulate and supervise the Microfinance Sector through the creation of a new organism CONAMI.

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  • CDB obtains its 1st foreign funding line for US$6M from BIO

  • 22.10.2013
  • Citizens Development Business Finance PLC in a breakthrough transaction obtained its first foreign funding line from a multilateral agency for US$6M (Equivalent of Rs.800mn approximately) from BIO. The funding line is with a tenure of 4 years and has been fully hedged against any exchange rate fluctuations on a fixed interest rate.

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  • IFIs deepen collaboration to support private sector role in development

  • 17.10.2013
  • Over 20 International Financial Institutions, including BIO, pledged closer collaboration to support private sector development. To this end, they co-signed a Memorandum regarding “IFIs Harmonized Development Results Indicators for private sector investment operations”, during a meeting hosted by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, in Washington this October 12th, 2013.

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  • Impact study : the remarkable example of EFC Zambia

  • 26.09.2013
  • In order to provide small business owners with the financing they so often lack, Développement international Desjardins (DID) sets up, operates and is developing Entrepreneur Financial Centres (EFC) using its investment funds, strict operating methods and specialized solutions, and with the support of strong international partners. A 2012 impact assessment of EFC Zambia, the Entrepreneur Financial Centre set up in Zambia in 2009, confirms that it is creating wealth and opportunities for small business owners and is contributing to the development of the middle class in that country. The study also deeply underscored the fact that this Entrepreneur Financial Centre, by providing financial services that are adapted to small businesses, is filling a pre-existing void. BIO supported the DID initiative with a EUR 1,5 million loan in 2013. Learn more about BIO’s investment here. Read the full report here.

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  • BIO supports SMEs in Benin

  • 23.09.2013
  • Upon invitation by the Beninese Minister for Industry, Trade and SME, Luuk Zonneveld, BIO’s CEO, and Dimitry van Raemdonck, Senior Investment Officer at BIO, conducted a prospection mission in Benin last week. It was an opportunity for BIO to value its support to the private sector in Benin and more particularly to SMEs.

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  • "Sierra Leone : Climbing out of Poverty", a video by our partner SwedFund

  • 03.09.2013
  • Together with FMO and Swedfund, BIO supports the Addax Bioenergy project in Sierra Leone. The people in this video tell their stories and how Addax Bioenergy has influenced the course of their lives. Change is happening in Sierra Leone and BIO is proud to be part of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0E3hXMRo8L4 More information about the Addax Bioenergy project in Sierra Leone.

  • 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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