PRESS RELEASE, WEDNESDAY 5TH, FEBRUARY 2020
Geneva, 5 February 2020 – Netherlands-based ASN Bank has invested USD 16.2 million debt in the REGMIFA Fund to foster development in Sub-Saharan Africa through employment creation, income generation and poverty alleviation. With ASN Bank the first private investor is joining REGMIFA that endorses the mission of financing small business and creating jobs in Sub-Saharan Africa. The investment, which brings the fund’s total assets to USDM 144.4, will finance loans to businesses and households via selected financial institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa.
ASN Bank is the largest sustainable bank in the Netherlands which makes it an ideal partner for the fund. The REGMIFA fund meets the stringent social criteria that ASN Bank applies to all its investments.
The REGMIFA Fund is a public-private partnership managed by Symbiotics SA. To achieve its goal, REGMIFA provides debt financing to microfinance institutions, local commercial banks and other financial institutions providing funding to micro, small and medium sized enterprises. REGMIFA currently operates in 19 countries in Sub Saharan Africa, of which 13 belong to the least developed countries.
REGMIFA Chairman Karl-Heinz Fleischhacker stated: “While the demand for finance from micro entrepreneurs and small and medium businesses is immense in Sub-Saharan Africa, very few private investors invest in this sector. ASN’s investment is a strong commitment to hard-working African entrepreneurs in need of financial resources.”
“For 60 years, our mission as a bank has been to foster environmental and social sustainability. We use the money that our customers entrust to us to promote sustainable development. Through a professional fund manager like Symbiotics we are able to have a global impact. The REGMIFA fund is a perfect match with our goal to increase the financial inclusion of micro, small and medium enterprises. In this particular case located in Sub Sahara Africa, the most vulnerable region of the world.” said Remko de Bie, Senior Account Manager Sustainable Financing at ASN Bank.
Symbiotics is the leading market access platform for impact investing, dedicated to financing micro- small and medium enterprises and low- and middle-income households in emerging and frontier markets. Since 2005, Symbiotics has structured and originated some 4,000 deals for over 425 companies in almost 90 emerging and frontier markets representing more than USD 5 billion. These investments have been purchased by more than 25 fund mandates and more than 50 third party specialized fund managers, forming a growing ecosystem and marketplace for such transactions.
Symbiotics is a registered asset manager in Switzerland and has further office presence in Mexico, the Netherlands, Singapore, France, South Africa, and the United Kingdom regrouping more than 140 employees worldwide.
The REGMIFA Fund was launched on 5 May 2010 in Luxembourg. It is a multilayered fund structured to attract both, public and private investors, looking to promote impact with a risk adjusted return. Since inception, the REGMIFA Fund has originated USD 413M for investments in Sub-Saharan Africa and impacted more than 170,000 micro entrepreneurs. A dedicated Technical Assistance Facility runs parallel to the Fund, providing tailor-made technical and institution-building support to REGMIFA’s partner institutions.
About ASN Bank
ASN Bank has invested in sustainable development since it was founded in 1960. The bank only finances and invests in future-oriented companies, sectors and countries that show respect for people, animals and nature in their actions. ASN Bank offers payment, savings and investment services, as well providing mortgage loans. It also finances projects that tie in with its sustainable mission. ASN Bank is one of the brands of de Volksbank. The other brands are BLG Wonen, RegioBank and SNS. Together, these four brands fulfil the mission defined by de Volksbank: banking with a human touch.
For more information, you can contact:
Samy Derradji, Symbiotics, Corporate Communications
Monique Messelink, ASN Bank, Communications Advisor