Oikocredit Issues Shares in Local Currencies



    Annual General Meeting - June 2007

    AMERSFOORT, The Netherlands and JOHANNESBURG, June 19 /CNW/ - Just around
the time of Oikocredit's Annual General Meeting in South Africa, we passed the
mark of financing 600 project partners worldwide with over EUR300 million. To
be able to continue the upward trend in project financing, Oikocredit is
constantly looking for new strategies to attract investors.
    With the growing demand for credit for development, Oikocredit needs to
attract new investors to be able to reach as many project partners as
possible. This increase in demand is calling for a change in the initial
policy of offering shares only in EUR and US dollars. In the last few years,
investors have encouraged the board and management to study the possibilities
for issuing shares in currencies other than EUR and US dollars.
    At the Annual General Meeting on 15 June, the members voted in favour of
pursuing this option. At this moment, most of the investors come from Europe
and the USA. Issuing shares in other currencies makes it easier to attract
capital from countries outside the USD and EUR zones, as investors will not
run currency risks if the shares are issued in their own currency.
Consequently it will help Oikocredit to reach its growth target of an increase
in capital inflow of 25% in 2007 (EUR 36.3 million in 2006). We will start
with the issue of shares in local currencies in Sweden and the United Kingdom
where we are intensifying operations.
    Eventually, Oikocredit will go one step further and also issue shares in
local currencies (for example in South African Rand or Indian Rupee). This
leads to an improved currency match for Oikocredit. It avoids currency risks
and related hedging costs or exchange rate losses. For local investors, for
instance in South Africa, it is attractive to invest in their own currency and
to use those investments to finance local projects. This is a key issue for
Oikocredit since its objective is to not only build bridges between the South
and the North but also to facilitate South South development support.

    Oikocredit: private capital for development

    Oikocredit is a co-operative financial institution that offers loans or
investment capital for microfinance institutions, co-operatives and small and
medium sized enterprises in developing countries, aimed at development
financing. Oikocredit is privately financed; individuals and organisations
invest in Oikocredit shares. Direct members of the co-operative are churches,
church-affiliated organisations, project members and Oikocredit support
associations; individuals invest through support associations. Oikocredit pays
its shareholders a modest yearly dividend.

    I: www.oikocredit.org




For further information:

For further information: Juliette de Voogd, Department Corporate
Communication, Oikocredit International, T: +31-334224040, E:
jdevoogd@oikocredit.org

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