Opic Provides $5 Million Loan To Brac In Support Of Microfinance Lending In Myanmar

WASHINGTON – The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, has provided a $5 million loan to BRAC Myanmar Microfinance Company Limited, a microfinance institution in Myanmar operated by BRAC International, to support lending to poor and underserved borrowers.

OPIC’s support will help BRAC Myanmar provide more loans and increase financial inclusion in Myanmar, where less than 26 percent of the local adult population has access to formal financial services. Since its inception in 2013, BRAC Myanmar has provided almost 250,000 microfinance loans to women entrepreneurs and more than 2,500 small business and agriculture loans in amounts ranging from less than $100 to about $2,000, with some borrowers accessing loans of up to $6,500.

BRAC’s lending focuses on underserved groups, including women and people living in rural areas. In line with BRAC’s holistic approach to development, the loans provided by BRAC Myanmar form part of a comprehensive package of support that includes training in financial literacy and access to social development programs that promote food security and emergency preparedness.

“One of the most effective ways to empower the people of Myanmar is to help them access financial services so they can start and grow businesses, increase their earnings and invest in their families,” said David Bohigian, OPIC Acting President and CEO. “OPIC’s loan to BRAC will support thousands of loans to women and other groups who are not served by mainstream financial institutions.”

“BRAC Myanmar has been doing a wonderful job extending access to finance,” said Donella Rapier, President and CEO of BRAC USA, the North American affiliate of BRAC. “The investment by OPIC will enable its further expansion in support of financial inclusion in Myanmar, with a particular focus on women. I am pleased that BRAC USA could play a part in supporting the extension of this loan to BRAC Myanmar.”

The loan will support OPIC’s 2X Women’s Initiative and advances the agency’s focus on lower income countries. OPIC has previously partnered with BRAC International to support its microfinance operations in Tanzania and Uganda.

BRAC Myanmar, BRAC International and BRAC USA are all members of the BRAC family. BRAC is a global leader in developing and implementing cost-effective, evidence-based programs to assist the most marginalized people in extremely poor, conflict-prone, and post-disaster settings.

The impact investment bank Enclude served as an arranger of the transaction. The loan is backed by a guarantee from BRAC USA.

About OPIC

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is a self-sustaining U.S. Government agency that helps American businesses invest in emerging markets. Established in 1971, OPIC provides businesses with the tools to manage the risks associated with foreign policy and national security priorities. OPIC helps American businesses gain footholds in new markets, catalyzes new revenues and contributes to jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC fulfills its mission by providing businesses with financing, political risk insurance, advocacy and by partnering with private equity investment fund managers.

OPIC services are available to new and expanding businesses planning to invest in more than 160 countries worldwide. Because OPIC charges market-based fees for its products, it operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to taxpayers. All OPIC projects must adhere to best international practices and cannot cause job loss in the United States.

About BRAC (www.brac.net)

BRAC is a global leader in developing and implementing cost-effective, evidence-based programs to assist the most marginalized people in extremely poor, conflict-prone, and post-disaster settings. These include initiatives in education, healthcare, microfinance, women and girls’ empowerment, agriculture, human and legal rights, and more. BRAC employs more than 110,000 people in 11 countries, with a total global expenditure of more than $1 billion. More than 75% percent of its budget in Bangladesh is self-financed through its social enterprises.

Source: Opic

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