45% rise in credit for development
AMERSFOORT, The Netherlands, Feb. 5 /CNW/ - Oikocredit, the leading
private international financier of microfinance, announced preliminary results
for 2007. The figures reveal an unprecedented growth in disbursals of 44%
compared to 2006: a total of (euro)135 million was disbursed to 266 project
partners. The total amount outstanding with these partners is
(euro)277 million, an increase of 33%. Considering these overall positive
results, Oikocredit intends to continue paying a dividend of 2% to its
Oikocredit now supports 637 institutional project partners in the field,
including 390 microfinance institutions (MFIs). Through these partners,
Oikocredit funding reaches more than 630,000 individual clients throughout the
developing world, improving millions of lives in the process.
"The figures tell a very positive story," said Oikocredit Managing
Director Tor G. Gull. "But, growth is not only measured in financial
performance. It's also a question of social impact, reaching out to those who
need support most."
Credit for development has become a dynamic market, especially in the
microfinance sector. In 2007, total member capital increased by 16% to
(euro)319 million. Despite this increase, demand continues to outpace supply.
Several new initiatives were taken during 2007 to attract even more capital
and further expand the Oikocredit investor base.
During 2007, Oikocredit began issuing shares in British pounds,
Canadian dollars and Swedish kroner, in addition to euros and US dollars.
In 2008, possibilities to offer a savings product will be explored, based
on a successful pilot project in South Tirol, Italy, executed in collaboration
with a local Raiffeisenbank.
Finally, in October 2007, Oikocredit took part in the launch of
MicroPlace, an innovative online system of investing. A wholly owned
subsidiary of E-bay, MicroPlace opens up the possibility of investing in
microfinance to the retail investor in the US, starting with as little as
2008: Focus on fair trade
In addition to microfinance, Oikocredit supports other types of
organisations in developing countries such as fair trade producers,
agriculture cooperatives, small and medium enterprises. Moving forward,
Oikocredit is seeking to increase its investments in such organisations in
Oikocredit's 2007 Annual Report will be published at the end of the first
quarter of 2008 and will be available at www.oikocredit.org.
For further information:
For further information: Juliette de Voogd, Corporate Communication,
Oikocredit, T +31-33 422 40 50, E firstname.lastname@example.org, www.oikocredit.org